Mr. Speaker, last week's budget brought welcome changes to the taxation of child support. The finance minister, working in conjunction with his counterparts in justice, human resources development, the status of women and internal revenue, announced a comprehensive plan which will result in fairer tax treatment of child support payments, more equitable and consistent child support awards, and improved enforcement mechanisms.
At the heart of these initiatives are the needs of the child. While it took government action to bring about the legal changes, it was as a result of the parents, generally mothers raising their children alone, who pushed this issue forward, Suzanne Thibaudeau's court challenge to a law she felt treated her unfairly; my colleague, the member for Nepean whose private member's bill focused attention on this topic; and the member for Westmount whose leadership articulated the needs of many witnesses who appeared before us.
Finally, the loudest praise is for the thousands of custodial parents who have lived with the former system, for whom this issue was not an interesting legal point but grim reality which hit them every time there was not enough money for the extras, or even the necessities.
It was emotionally draining and difficult for many not used to expressing themselves forcefully or in public. But still they came and our hat is off to them.