Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, on this International Women's Day and as part of an initiative led by Equal Voice, for a short time today, the House of Commons was made up entirely of young women: Daughters of the Vote.
The seat normally occupied by my colleague from Newmarketâ€”Aurora was empty. In a courageous act of protest to remind us of all the women who have not been able to reach their full potential and whose political voices have been silenced because of systemic violence against women, Arezoo Najibzadeh chose to leave her seat vacant. Thank you, Arezoo, for reminding me that Canadian women won the right to vote through protest, not silence.
I am protesting here today, too. I protest the government's broken promises. The government could have taken action to improve the lives of women, through electoral reform and pay equity. I protest on behalf of all Canadian women who are counting on us to bring about change.