Madam Speaker, November 20 is Universal Children's Day, commemorating the UN's adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
That same year this House voted unanimously to end child poverty. The motion was put forward by our former leader, Ed Broadbent.
Sadly, on this Universal Children's Day, Canadians are realizing that more and more children are slipping into poverty as their families suffer during the economic crisis.
That is why I want to echo the call of UNICEF and the Canadian Association of Social Workers who are celebrating today by calling once again for an independent children's commissioner.
The lack of movement on appointing a children's commissioner, first suggested in 2003, was highlighted by the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children in its report to the UN on Canada's progress.
A commissioner would be able to investigate government policies that discriminate against vulnerable groups, like aboriginal children, and measure the impact on children's rights of new legislation. In addition, a commissioner could tell us why, after 22 years, Canada still has made no progress on reducing child poverty.