Mr. Speaker, this morning's news carried reports of the Royal Canadian Legion rejecting the proposal to allow turbans. Of the several commentaries I have heard, most condemn this action and once again we hear divisive accusations being hurled by each side.
As a member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration I have spent many days now listening to the varying opinions of experts and non-experts alike. What is our mandate as we review the Citizenship Act? Indeed, what is the mandate of every Canadian citizen as they identify with Canada?
The strength of our country lies in the agreement of all citizens to come together. That is, we ask no citizen to forsake their cultural inheritance but that each accept and give equal value to the cultural freedom of others.
The legion controversy is two sided. No matter what their cultural or religious background, all Canadians should be confident that their values are respected by others.
In this month of the 50th anniversary of the supremely noble sacrifice by many Canadians, let us recognize the freedom to identify and maintain our respective traditions.