Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for Mercier for her perceptive comments and also for the motion that has come forward today.
I want to make a few comments rather than ask a question if I may have a minute or two to do so.
Our leader spoke this morning about the women's march and the women's demands.
A group from the women's march on poverty met with our caucus recently. When its representatives presented us with their demands I found that they fit like a hand in a glove with the kinds of things the New Democratic Party has been proposing.
We believe an election may be near. Each party is coming up with a platform, and we are as well. While I do not have all the details, I will go through some of their demands and indicate how closely they resemble some of our platform points.
They want to restore federal funding to health care. We have argued for that all along. They want to enforce rules against privatization of health care. We have fought that fight as well and agree with the women of Canada.
They want an additional 1% of the budget spent on social housing. The government has removed itself from social housing almost entirely and we have a crisis on our hands. The government has done virtually nothing during this crisis. We are with the women of Canada in saying that we must do something about social housing. We are proposing 25,000 units per year.
They want a promised national child care fund set up. The Liberals made that promise in 1993 and it still has not been acted on. I recently presented a petition in the House from parents and other members and friends of the Confederation Park Childcare Cooperative in my riding asking about that fund. They were talking about the fact that two-thirds of Canadian women work outside of the home. Not everyone has a situation whereby a family member can care for the children. In this economy, if we want to be productive and just, we must have such a program. We in the NDP are pushing for that.
They want old age security payments increased. We have fought the Liberal government's attempts to reduce old age security payments.
We have also supported the reduction of the head tax on immigrants. The women of Canada have asked for that.
Like my colleague from Mercier, we have also been calling for a restoration of our overseas development assistance to the target level of .7 of 1% of GNP. We are saying that we have to get to .35% immediately. In that, I agree with the women and with my colleague.
Finally, we have adopted the proactive pay equity legislation. The women of Canada are calling for that and we support them entirely.
I merely wish to state that the wishes, desires and demands brought forward by this group of women from Quebec and from all over Canada fit very closely with what the NDP has been advocating for years. Perhaps it is no accident. We have eight or nine women members in our caucus and they have had a great impact on bringing forward issues from the women of Canada.