Mr. Speaker, I know that I speak for all members of parliament when I say that we value the warm and cordial relationship we enjoy with the Philippines as a nation and that we are proud to host the president of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo, in our country this week.
I can also say without any fear of contradiction that we value the substantial contributions made by Filipino people who have chosen to make Canada their home. I need only point to the hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs by way of an example, or my friend and colleague the president of the Philippine Association of Manitoba, Mr. Lito Taruc, who joins us here today.
In recognition of the special relationship between our two countries I urge the Canadian government to give Filipino immigrants the respect they deserve in ways such as recognizing their professional credentials, especially those of domestic workers in the live-in caregiver program.
I further urge the government to ensure that Canadian companies doing business in the Philippines conduct themselves as good corporate citizens and that mining companies like Placer Dome are held accountable for the environmental degradation resulting from its activities on the Boac river.
To my friends in the Filipino community I say mabuhay .