Mr. Speaker, I am extremely disappointed with the economic statement released by the Conservative government yesterday. It failed to create more opportunities for women to increase their spending power.
If women are to participate fully in the Canadian economy, we need changes to maternity leave because too many women are not eligible to receive it. This leaves them with no choice but to be the parent who stays at home or to go on welfare to make ends meet. The economic statement included no money for child care, which again leaves women with no choice but to stay home as the cost of child care in most provinces remains prohibitive.
If women are unable to work, they are unable to participate fully in the economy, leaving 51% of the population at a disadvantage that they will carry forward to their retirement.
What the economic statement did include was a truckload of money for big banks, big oil and corporations. The tax cut aimed at ordinary Canadians will do little to help make ends meet. It will not increase affordable housing. It will not put a dent in the child care bills. It will not increase access to maternity leave.