Mr. Speaker, last year the House unanimously approved a motion put forward by my hon. colleague from Trinity—Spadina to declare June 10 Canada-Portugal Day. This Saturday's Portugal Day celebrations include a parade in Toronto through my riding of Davenport and Trinity—Spadina.
Parliament expressed gratitude for the great contribution of the Luso-Canadian community to Canada, a community whose roots in Canada date back to the 16th century. Today almost half a million people of Portuguese descent call Canada home.
On the streets of Little Portugal in my riding of Davenport in the communities north of St. Clair and the communities north of Rogers Road there is deep concern and consternation and I dare say there is anger at how the Conservative government is treating seniors in the budget.
Maybe in some areas of the country it is a little cheaper to live than others, but in Davenport seniors are barely hanging on. I have spoken to many Portuguese seniors over the last year. Many of them bought their homes in the fifties and the sixties and they raised their families in those homes. They are still living in the same homes and they are proud of that fact. Yet they can barely hang on. They can barely pay their heating bills let alone all the other utilities. If they were listening to some of the debates that have been going on in the House this week, they would be scratching their heads. They would be very concerned about the level of debate in the House around the real problems for seniors.
There are seniors in my community who have no home care, seniors who cannot get around. People say that if their home is too expensive then why not just sell it. Where are they going to go? Are they going to live in a gazebo? I do not think so. A gazebo is not a national housing strategy.
Many seniors cannot get around. We need a national transit strategy in this country. The purchase of fighter jets is not a national transit strategy. That is what we need here.
I hear time and time again from people in Davenport that there are just no decent jobs around. The government says that it has created jobs, but we need to drill down and ask it what kind of jobs it created. I can tell the House what kind they are. Seniors in my riding are working at very low paying, $10 an hour service jobs. They maybe at one point had a decent job with a pension but they do not have that job any more. These are the real issues.
People say that the economy is doing well, that the recession is over. Constituents in my riding tell me that the recession for many people is not over. The jobless problem has not been adequately dealt with by the government, certainly not in the budget.
One would think that if the government were reintroducing the budget, it might have taken some time to get a few of those things right, but that is not what happened. We are very concerned. My community of Davenport is concerned.
I started this off by talking about the Portugal Day parade. The reason I did is because so many in our Portuguese community are seniors and they are looking for some help from our government. They have contributed through their blood, sweat and tears to make this country the great country that it is and what they see from the government is a cold shoulder. This is--