Mr. Speaker, today the House will vote to implement the Kelowna accord.
Since cancelling the accord, the Conservative Prime Minister and Minister of Indian Affairs have ignored the ugly reality and desperation of aboriginal poverty. When faced with damning facts like the number of children in care, 27,000 of them, the minister has the gall to put the blame on first nations, Métis and Inuit families. When faced with calls to address the poverty gap by implementing the Kelowna accord, the government denies it ever existed and says it never promised anything.
The Kelowna accord does exist. It is a viable, workable plan to help first nations, Métis and Inuit address poverty and third world conditions. It is a disgrace that the government continues to put partisan politics ahead of an opportunity to make poverty history for aboriginal communities.
I say to the Conservatives that if they have any decency, any shred of honour and any compassion whatsoever, they must abide by the will of Parliament and implement the Kelowna accord.