Mr. Speaker, the member raises a very important issue that we heard about, at length, from both domestic and international experts. It is based on the reality that we have had this gender budget analysis initiative around for a very long time.
In fact, Status of Women Canada has produced quite a good guide for policy-making in regard to that. It provided a reference guide that illustrated how departments were supposed to go through the process and was kind enough to provide gender budget analysis training. We discovered there was a great deal in place in terms of what I will call the platform, the ability to move ahead on this.
Unfortunately, it felt at times like departments were going through these guidelines as if they were a checklist, without really giving it thought or thinking about impact and how it had to be implemented. It was just a checklist. The end result is that we have not seen the kinds of advancements with GBA that one would have hoped after all this time.
I quite agree that we need a commissioner. It was recommended by a number of people who came before the committee. Having the accountability mechanism to assess how governments have made progress is going to take us the next step in terms of achieving the goals at which we are looking.
I quite agree with setting that in legislation. I believe all the important policies that we treasure as Canadians and would like to see in place as Canadians should be secured in legislation. Our health care system is protected by the Canada Health Act. I would like to see environmental protection, a national child care act and a national housing policy enshrined in legislation, so there is indeed accountability, the kind a commissioner would provide.