Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his sympathetic comments and his appreciation of the issues that we raised. Actually, I also thank him for the opportunity to point out a glaring contradiction. The hon. member is right: in this day and age it is simply a manifestation of bad social planning that we have 52% of the children in my riding living below the poverty line. In my view it is a failure and it is Canada's greatest shame.
I am glad the hon. member at least raised the contrast between the Governor General's excessive spending and the plight of some of the underprivileged children in my riding, because I have a graphic illustration and example for him.
I recently lost in an effort to save one early childhood development program in my riding. The total budget of this program was $5,000. It was an eight week program to teach low income mothers early childhood development skills and proper nutrition skills, et cetera, to help them get their children, this generation, off to a better start. For the want of $5,000, that program failed.
The Governor General's circumpolar party cost of $5.3 million would have paid for a thousand of these programs. We could have run one of those early childhood development programs in every village and city in the country. That is perhaps a graphic illustration of what a misspent $5.3 million translates into when we talk about a good and proper use for that money.