Mr. Speaker, today the people of Quebec are making a decision that will affect not only Canadians living in Quebec but all Canadians. Our country will be profoundly changed regardless of the outcome of the Quebec referendum.
There are two ways to confront change: first, to resist at every opportunity, drawing comfort from that which is familiar; and, second and more difficult but potentially much more rewarding, to accept the inevitability of change, to embrace change and thereby have the opportunity to manage it.
Our country is poised at the precipice of such change. We have an opportunity to put aside past partisanship, past bias, and to look to the future with an open mind.
We have an historic opportunity to fashion a new federation that is flexible enough to accommodate our different visions, strong enough to weather life's storms, and gentle enough to be a beacon of hope to the world.