Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of Mr. Gary O'Dwyer. Mr. O'Dwyer is a noted teacher at St. Mary's Secondary School in Cobourg and is one of 12 teachers nationwide to be nominated to receive the 2000 Governor General's award for excellence in teaching Canadian history.
A national award, it recognizes teachers for their dynamic and innovative approach to teaching Canadian history. Mr. O'Dwyer started a speakers forum at the school 16 years ago allowing students to interact with noted speakers from around the world.
Through dialogue and debate in class, touring outside the class, students have experienced and participated in dynamic discussions of such topics as war and peace, the holocaust, religious intolerance and international development issues.
National leaders and more humble participants, including victims of history, have been part of Mr. O'Dwyer's well-respected speakers forum. Notable to me was the cold war era meeting of the Soviet Union and American war veterans discussing war and peace. Eye-opening, mind-opening experiences all.