Mr. Speaker, all aboriginal people lost when the Conservative government refused to implement the Kelowna accord, but perhaps the greatest loss was felt by all aboriginal women.
For the first time ever, aboriginal women were at the negotiating table to develop a plan of action that would have closed the gap in education, health, housing and economic opportunities. The Kelowna accord provided women with an opportunity to gain more equality in their lives.
The list of initiatives under the accord was impressive: strengthened social foundations, better education opportunities, housing and health care. Most important of all was that women would be included in any future policy development. Women's voices finally would have been heard.
The Conservative government's refusal to implement the accord speaks volumes about how it really feels about aboriginal women and their role in building a stronger Canada. To add insult to injury, our people were forgotten in the recent budget.