Mr. Speaker, this is literacy week in Canada.
The ability to read and write empowers people. It enables them to improve their position in an increasingly complex economy, to avail themselves of their rights and fulfil their duties in our country with its democratic privileges and responsibilities and to better understand themselves and the world around them.
Literacy is an essential element of every modern society and we can be proud of the fact that this government has named a minister responsible for literacy and has established a secretariat with the mandate of eliminating illiteracy nationwide.
Personally, I am very proud of Frontier College located in my Toronto riding and the leadership it provides in this field. It and other institutions like it and thousands of volunteers work on literacy programs that make an important contribution to our society.
If not addressed, illiteracy has heavy costs for Canada and for those individuals who struggle with the problem every day of their lives.