Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 (Bill C-4)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, the presentation by my hon. colleague from Etobicoke North highlighted the fact that we have not seen much focus on the concerns of women in this country. After hearing the Speech from the Throne, a Conservative friend of mine made the same point: that there was not much there in relation to the concerns that women experience in this country.

I want to mention a specific concern that I was hoping to see in the Speech from the Throne. I know there are many Conservatives who are in favour of this change. It would be of assistance to the police in not only searching for those who have brought harm to murdered and missing aboriginal women but also in searching for missing children across Canada. I am speaking of a database of the DNA of missing persons for routine cross-referencing to crime scenes.

It is an important idea that has been endorsed by Senate committees and supported by various Conservatives. We still have not seen it. It is called Lindsey’s law. Judy Peterson, who is one of my constituents, has been championing this effort since her daughter Lindsey went missing 20 years ago on August 2.

Kirsty Duncan: Mr. Speaker, I first offer my profound apologies to my hon. colleague’s family for the loss of her daughter. We are talking about the murder of a child. I cannot imagine the horror of that. We need better databases and anything we can do to provide information to improve databases.

I do want to pick up on pay equity and women in the economy. Canadians should remember that in budget 2009 the Conservatives attacked the rights of Canadian women by undermining pay equity. In 2010, it voted down the Liberal private member’s bill to implement the recommendations of the 2004 pay equity task force. The gap in income between men and women in Canada is 19%. According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canada ties with the United States for the 11th spot of 17 countries and earns a C grade. With the challenges of the current financial climate, it has never been more important to take full advantage of the skills and talents of all people, regardless of their gender.