moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.
Mr. Speaker, how about that indeed. It does not happen around here every day to have unanimous agreement on something like this and to have it move so quickly. I must manage to speak today without bringing tears to my eyes.
I thank members for their ongoing support of the bill. I look forward to marking Purple Day on March 26, even though the bill will not likely be law by then. However, I am hopeful that today we will see it pass the House and go off to the Senate. I hope it goes there very quickly. However, who knows how quickly this act to increase public awareness of epilepsy will in fact move. We will wait and see.
As I said at the health committee recently when the bill was heard there, I was delighted, surprised and even shocked how quickly, after passing second reading here, the health committee decided to hear the bill and consider it. I really appreciate the amendments that were brought forward at that committee to correct some issues with the French language side of the bill.
I am very pleased that amendments were proposed by the hon. members who suggested that some terms should be changed in the French version of the bill; for example, “maladies” should be changed to “conditions” and “pourpre” should be changed to “lavande”. That is the French word used in reference to epilepsy by the Canadian association for this disorder.
I was also very pleased to be in committee with witnesses who know much more about this subject than I do. There was Aurore Therrien, executive director of Épilepsie Montréal Métropolitain, and members of the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance.
Mrs. Iris Elliott of the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia was there as was Ms. Sarah Ward, a medical student who has quite bit of knowledge and interest in this area and who has done a lot of volunteer work. I appreciated all of them being there.
I am very grateful for the support that all members of House have shown for Bill C-278, the Purple Day bill.
I was also moved by the amazing and touching stories that my colleagues brought forth during second reading debate. I believe we have already had tremendous success in making Canadians aware of epilepsy and how it impacts the lives of thousands of Canadians through this process. It is a great example of how members from all parties can come together. People do not see that very often. They do not realize that it does happen more than they know. Members actually can, when question periods are over, often get along, get things done and make things move. Even in committee, we often have a great deal of co-operation. It is too bad more people do not see that we do come together and put partisan interests aside, as we are in this case, and push for a bill that has an impact on a policeman in Ottawa, a dad in Edmonton or a little girl in my riding of Halifax West.
I think many members now know that in 2008, 9-year-old Cassidy Megan founded Purple Day for epilepsy and started a global trend. In fact, when she had her first epilepsy seizure at the age of 7, she was a bit embarrassed and concerned about the fact that other people around her did not know anything about epilepsy and why she was having this seizure or why she had it. Her classmates obviously would not know what to think of that. Therefore, when she was 9, she talked to her teacher about the idea of having a day for that at the school. It just so happened that the principal picked March 26, and that is the day that has now stuck and is the day that continues to be celebrated as Purple Day.
I hope Cassidy is listening today. She would be pleased, as I am sure we all are, that Canada has been a leader in epilepsy awareness. I am pleased to hear, and I am sure members will all be pleased to hear, that other legislatures, such as the state of New Hampshire and many others around the globe, are following this with Purple Days of their own. I understand that Purple Day is now celebrated in more than 60 countries. How about that? I am sure we will hear more about that as that number continues to grow.
This is an opportunity to remind members and their staff who are often back in their offices around the Hill and are watching or listening to the proceedings that Purple Day this year will be on Monday, March 26, which is the Monday after the break week. I would suggest, just as a thought, that perhaps members' staff should consider putting a note on their calendars for two weeks from today, that would be the Friday of the break week, to remind their members to bring something, a tie, a blouse, whatever, something purple to wear on Monday, March 26. I am hopeful that little reminder will be heard by members and their staff.
I am very happy to be associated with this initiative. However, it is people like Cassidy herself, Aurore, Iris, Sarah and many others who really deserve the credit. Bill C-278 is a direct result of their commitment to this cause and their support of the bill.
The bill is a pretty simple one, as members know. Bill C-278 would help to create public awareness about epilepsy and would officially designate March 26 as Purple Day in Canada. We will ask Canadians to wear purple clothing that day. It is not a legal holiday but it touches a lot of lives. I thank members for their support.