Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's presentation was very effective and very well done. She is a very strong advocate of women's issues.
When we talk about the need the equality commissioner, we have to look at what the government has actually done. The very first thing the Conservative government did was to eliminate the court challenges program, a program which helped women. The government eliminated advocacy and research. In fact the equality provision which it put in really is hollow because it does not have any real advocacy or research money behind it. The Conservatives eliminated the national child care program which had been negotiated with every province in this country. They cut the literacy program which affects women and the poorest people tremendously. They have cut housing. I could go down the list of cuts. They are going to be developing an action plan for women, but the action plan quite frankly is what we have seen in the House. That is the action plan. Action plans should have action, not just talk.
At committee we talked a great deal about this. We met with the Auditor General who said very clearly that her role is not conducive to the work of a commissioner. She can only look at value for money, not at policy and she cannot do any advocacy. Again, the equality commissioner is extremely important.
I want to ask the hon. member who has given us a very passionate presentation this afternoon how she reacts to the comments from the government that the commissioner is actually a waste of money because it establishes another bureaucracy which in effect will do nothing; money is being wasted by establishing a bureaucracy when that money could be spent directly on women when in fact, by the way, that has not been done.
There is a much broader issue here that is being ignored. The hon. member probably would enlighten us on her reaction to that particular commitment.