Mr. Speaker, I was listening very carefully to the hon. Conservative member for Simcoe North and I must say that there is a big difference between what he says and what he does, as Status of Women Canada would certainly agree.
I would like to commend my colleague from Laval, who explained the Bloc Québécois position so well during the first hour of debate on this motion by the hon. member for London West, whom I would also like to congratulate for her motion on promoting the status of women, a motion that is totally non-partisan. I would like to congratulate both hon. members.
In the days following International Women's Day, I must say that it worries me deeply to sit in this Parliament under a Conservative government. I was elected almost four years ago and I have never had to make so many speeches to promote the status of women. This is unusual. I feel like the rug is being pulled out from under us.
It seems to me that this Conservative government is attacking the promotion of the status of women. Some attacks are obvious. The most obvious, of course, are the cuts made to Status of Women Canada, so that the organization would stop promoting the status of women. There have been many other attacks. The most recent is Bill C-484, introduced by a Conservative member, a legislative measure that greatly concerns me. The bill has to do with unborn victims of crime. Under the pretense of protecting fetuses and protecting women, it would give a legal status to the fetus. This could mean sending women to prison for having an abortion. It would turn back the clock on women's rights by decades.
I am surprised that, as I speak here today in 2008, I am forced to defend women's equality, to defend women's bodies and to tell men they must stop trying to legislate on women's bodies. They cannot simultaneously be a legal entity and have another legal entity inside them. That is schizophrenia. I say this jokingly, but I am really very worried.
As the labour critic, I would simply like to draw the House's attention to some of the elements in the Bloc Québécois platform that improve the living conditions of women working under federal jurisdiction. In Quebec, the status of women is not under threat as it is in this Parliament and working women have privileges not enjoyed by women working under federal jurisdiction. Among others, the anti-strikebreaker legislation significantly reduces the number of person days lost due to labour disputes. There is also the protective reassignment of pregnant women. If we truly wish to protect women and their unborn children, we must support this measure. It allows a woman working in a factory or workplace that is unhealthy for her or her fetus to leave her employment early and to be paid under the protective reassignment program, without affecting her maternity leave. That is what is currently happening at the federal level. That is what this Conservative government is forcing on all women working in the public service, in ports, airports or telecommunications.
In addition, women earn less than men. I have the statistics and I have provided them many times. I believe everyone is aware of this.
As I said earlier, the anti-strikebreaker legislation and protective reassignment are very important measures in support of working women.
I do not wish to take up too much time but I do wish to reiterate my concerns about this Conservative government that is causing the status of women to be eroded.