Mr. Speaker, in the comments of the member for Sault Ste. Marie, he referenced the StatsCan study. Many commentators and observers have debated certain aspects of the report over the last few days, specifically the overall focus of the study. I want to preface my question with a quote from the Montreal Gazette of May 3. It states:
But the emphasis it put on some figures over others can certainly be misleading.... Consider:
First, StatsCan emphasized earnings from employment. But non-employment income—pensions, welfare, other government transfers, and so on—reportedly counts for more than half of all income in that bottom quintile. So earnings figures alone distort the gap between rich and poor
Second, Canada now has more two-income families than it had in 1980. With more women in the labour force, median family income—from all sources—was up by more than 11 per cent since 1980.
Would the member care to comment on what has been said and why the debate is ongoing on the review of the StatsCan piece? Also, does he believe that family earnings are a more appropriate measure of well-being over individual earnings?