Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak on the minister's statement on Equal Voice's Canada challenge.
Twenty-five years ago, women fought for equality under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and women are indeed equal under the law, but this does not mean that women automatically have equality in all aspects of society. In fact, the opposite is true.
The fact remains that the Conservative government is making it worse. The government removed equality as part of the mandate of the women's program, which in the past has funded advocacy and equality seeking organizations. The government removed political and legal rights from the mandate of the women's program. That one decision is evidence that the government will fail to act on Equal Voice's Canada challenge to elect more women.
The Conservative Party consists of only 11% women, the lowest of any party in the House of Commons and, in any case, the House has a mere 21% women overall. The United Nations believes there needs to be at least 30% to make a significant change in public policy for women.
The Liberal leader has made a commitment to surpass that number. The Liberal leader has taken his commitment to women's equality one step further by pledging to have more women in cabinet, committing to have an equal number of men and women in the Senate, and increasing the numbers of women appointed to executive positions at crown corporations.
The Liberal Party of Canada is the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the 1970 Royal Commission on the Status of Women. It is the party that established a Status of Women department. We have a proud history and a record of supporting women's rights and fighting for true equality.
The Liberal Party of Canada will be there for Canadian women. The Liberal Party of Canada will fight for the rights of oppressed women around the world. The Liberal Party of Canada will meet the Canada challenge.