Mr. Speaker, as we approach International Women's Day I look around and see many women who are practising as physicians when in the past many said that women could not do that.
I see women who are legislators when in the past many said that women should not vote. I see women who have become engineers when the world said that only men were allowed to build bridges. Indeed, the minister of public works is building the biggest bridge in the world. I am proud of these women for taking the challenge, for following their dreams and listening to their hearts.
More than 40 per cent of Canada's small businesses are operated by women and the number of women entrepreneurs is growing at a rate far greater than any forecaster had ever dreamed. Women have raised their voices because of the serious lack of research on women's health issues and they have been heard. The government established five centres of excellence for women's health, one in Halifax at Dalhousie, to address the lack of research on women's health in Canada.