Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak on Bill C-274, proposing to make the second Sunday of September every year national grandparents day.
When I arrived at the House I had some good feelings about this bill and I was in a good mood. Then I watched as the member for Don Valley North sought unanimous approval to have his bill made votable. I understand the member for Don Valley North first sought in committee to have his bill made votable and was denied. I just wonder what kind of heartless minds exist in the Liberal Party opposite. The member for Don Valley North simply sought to have his bill recognized by a vote in the House, hoping for a majority vote for a bill which would stir the emotions of Canadians and was denied.
I proudly support this bill. It was put forward by a member of the Liberal Party and I am very pleased to support because it does not cost the Canadian taxpayer one red cent. It is very unusual for a bill to come forward from the Liberal Party that is not going to cost the taxpayer some money. I congratulate the member for Don Valley North for putting it forward because it is something we have not been used to in the House.
In the past a number of bills have been forced through the House by the Liberal Party. Bills C-33 and C-34 will cost the taxpayers millions upon millions of dollars. They were rammed through the House using closure. The government tried to put Bill C-22 through the House. It would take away the freedom of private citizens to challenge the government in a court case.
We saw the Liberal government try to put through a budget in the House last February that is going to increase our national debt by $100 billion over a three-year term and add about $10 billion or $12 billion to our annual interest payments. The government is trying to put through Bill C-68 which will cost the Canadian taxpayers perhaps $500 million.
It is a great day in the House of Commons, a great day for the Liberal Party and a great day for Canada to have a member of the Liberal Party try to put through a bill in the House that is not going to cost the taxpayers one red cent. I congratulate the member for Don Valley North for this bill.
That is a celebration in itself, but I have another reason for speaking to this bill. As a member of Parliament I get a special perk today. I can stand up in the House of Commons of Canada and on national television I can announce that yesterday I was informed that I am going to be a grandfather before this year is over. Therefore this is absolutely appropriate. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you do not have to be old to be a grandfather.
I am proud of my daughter, Lisa, in Vancouver. She will be a mother some time later this year and she will make me a grandfather. I am going to be able to realize some of the personal satisfaction that you get from being a grandfather, particularly when I get to babysit and the kids get cranky, I will know the parents are coming home sooner or later that night.
In a more serious vein, it is very important to recognize a day like grandparents day because it not only recognizes the important role that grandparents play in the lives of families, but it also recognizes the tremendous contribution that our ancestors have played in the building of the country.
I am a firm believer that it is the family unit; the mother, the father, the children, the grandparents, the aunts and the uncles who built this country as strong as it is now. I also believe above all else that this Parliament has a responsibility to ensure that the family unit is not broken down any more than it is already. Parliament has a responsibility to try and rebuild the family unit as it was prior to the 1960s.
The taxation levels since the mid-sixties have risen to a point where it is almost a demand that the mother of a family go out to work in order for the household to have enough disposable income to support the family. That is a tragedy and is one of the things that has broken down the family unit.
Grandparents can and do play an important role when the two spouses in a household are working. It is an absolutely critical time in the lives of children who become, through no wish of their own, latchkey kids. The parents of these kids, because of their jobs, are too busy to spend time with them. This makes the grandparents' role even more important.
I want Parliament to recognize that grandparents are part of the formula for making a family unit strong. For that reason alone, just that one reason, we should support this bill.
Another thing about grandparents that I find very important is they tend to pass down family values and history from one generation to another. Grandparents who spend a lot of time with their grandchildren generally have more time to talk to the kids about how their parents are working so hard to try to provide a home for them, to try to provide an education for them, something the parents often do not have time to do. This is a very important role for grandparents and they should be recognized for that as well.
A huge number of grandparents have also played an important part in the protection of democracy. They fought in the wars. They fought against fascism and communism in order to preserve the democracy we hold in such high value. They should be recognized for this as well.
I can speak from experience because I was a child in a one parent home. My mother worked every day while we were being brought up. Many times the only people I had to turn to for help with problems were my grandparents. I am eternally grateful for
the role they played in my life and the values they tried to instil in me that became beneficial when I grew up and started a career.
Grandparents day would provide an excellent opportunity for all Canadians to recognize the very important role grandparents play in a family.
I move that the House respond in a fashion that would come from the heart and not from instructions received from a committee and that unanimous consent could be given today that Bill C-274 become a votable motion.