February 12, 2004
Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
What about the greatest deficit that exists in our country, the social deficit? This is something that I am concerned about, and it is something that is a real priority in my riding of Vancouver East.
The president of the Canadian Council on Social Development recently wrote an article pointing out that:
"...the latest census figures that came out in 2001 really end the arguments. They point to a society in which income disparity is growing, not falling: to stubbornly stagnant poverty rates; to an entrenching have-not new immigrant class that is faring far worse than previous generations of new Canadians; to continuing Third World living standards among First Nations people; to increasing homelessness; to still significantly lower income levels for women and ethnic minorities."
He raised the question of whether the Prime Minister would tackle the social deficit with as much gusto, energy and commitment as he has tackled the deficit when he was finance minister? In reality, $100 billion went to corporations but no money went toward the social deficit. Today in British Columbia 125 organizations are rallying to stop the arbitrary time limit on welfare that was caused by the government. These are only some of the issues that should have been addressed in the throne speech.