Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the increase of HIV-AIDS within the aboriginal community is a huge health concern.
It is very disturbing to know that the government cut by 10% the core budget of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network. This flies in the face of a Standing Committee report that called for more than a doubling of funds for the Canadian AIDS strategy.
Where are the government’s priorities really? Is it more political window dressing on health care, or real resources and financial support to help our front line organizations, like the Network, do their jobs and save lives?
Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have had for more than 10 years now an AIDS strategy in this country. We must say that we are very impressed with the network that we developed with the NGOs and their partners and the stakeholders in the industry.
It is a budget that has been stable over the years. Clearly, I hope very much that our government will be in the position to invest more money in that program down the line. I can tell the Member that it will certainly be an important priority of ours because we are very pleased with the very good work of the stakeholders on the HIV-AIDS strategy.