Mr. Speaker, I am greatly honoured to serve the good people of Perth—Wellington. My riding name makes sense. It is Perth County and Wellington County. It is very straightforward, and I am very proud to represent the good folks of Perth—Wellington and to rise to debate Bill S-207.
Being the member of Parliament for the great riding of Perth—Wellington, which includes the city of Stratford and the great Stratford Festival, of course I am inclined to quote Shakespeare, who said this most eloquently in Romeo and Juliet:
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
To make a play on words, what is in a riding name? That which we call Châteauguay—Lacolle by any other name would something, something. I am not very good at iambic pentameter, but members get the point. There is a consideration here, as riding names should reflect the communities they represent. In this case, it has been noted that Lacolle is a neighbouring municipality that is not actually in the riding of Châteauguay—Lacolle.
I have to hand it to the member for Châteauguay—Lacolle for her persistence on this matter. If memory serves me correctly, I believe this Parliament marks the third time she has attempted to introduce this bill. In the 42nd Parliament, it was Bill C-377, and I was on the procedure and House affairs committee when we reviewed that bill. In the 43rd Parliament, first and second session, it was Bill S-213. Now, in the 44th Parliament, it is Bill S-207.
I do not want to make light of this change, because I recognize that it does reflect the riding and the communities in it, but I would be negligent in not pointing out that we are already getting into redistribution for the next redistribution. The fact is that we are now nearly seven years into debating this riding name, and we would have to go through the process of amending it, with the costs associated with that not only in the House of Commons and federal institutions, but also at Elections Canada, for potentially as little as 18 months. It seems these resources could be addressed elsewhere.
I would draw the attention of the House to the member for Châteauguay—Lacolle's original plan for a private member's bill. This is one that I would have supported wholeheartedly.
Immediately after the 2015 election, there was obviously a lottery. I placed high in the 200s. I did not have the opportunity to debate my bill, but the member for Châteauguay—Lacolle did. According to The Hill Times, at the time, the member for Châteauguay—Lacolle was “planning on putting forward a motion, M-125, Financial Literacy, that seeks to have the House Finance Committee study and report back on the implementation of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy to see if its meeting its current goals, evolving, and has the right measures in place to evaluate its progress.”
That is a motion I could get behind. Just imagine if six and a half years ago, the government had financial literacy in place and had been able to benefit, for the last six years, from a national financial literacy plan. Imagine how much further ahead we as Canadians would have been if the Liberals had taken up a commitment to being financially literate with the nation's finances. However, here we are six and a half years later, and sadly Motion No. 125 never saw the light of day and the member went ahead with Bill C-377 instead.
I am not going to imply that the member was told to do otherwise and go with a different PMB. We all know that often the House leader and the whips on the government side will encourage members, gently or otherwise, to go in a different direction. However, it is interesting that the member, immediately prior to the replenishment, the night before, opted not to go ahead with an important motion on financial literacy in Canada and went with changing the name of her riding from Châteauguay—Lacolle to Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville.
I note that the name does roll off the tongue, especially for an Anglo who tries his best in our second national language. It nonetheless seems to be a PMB that lacks a purpose in the sense that we are not likely to have an election campaign before the new ridings come into place. We will not have that opportunity.
I will leave my comments there.