Mr. Speaker, on November 7, 1997, President Ben Ali celebrated ten years as the head of my country of origin, Tunisia.
In an attempt to dispel certain myths circulated by extremists and too often given media attention, I would like to tell this House of the measures President Ben Ali has announced in connection with this anniversary. They include greater separation of the executive and legislative branches, the prohibition of race and religion as bases for political parties, public funding of political parties, enshrinement of the equality of men and women in the exercise of democracy, guaranteed seats for the opposition in the chamber of deputies and on municipal councils, a multi-party system, confirmation of the role of judges in connection with passports, and so on.
All these measures reflect values that we as Canadians hold dear. I congratulate President Ben Ali on leading his people along the route to an ever stronger democracy and I offer the expression of my affection to the people of Tunisia.