Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, December 3, is the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Ottawa convention banning anti-personnel mines. On this day, in 1997, 122 countries made a commitment to the rest of the world.
Since the beginning, Canada has been a leader in the campaign to eliminate anti-personnel mines. Since 1997, Canada has spent $100 million on anti-mine programs to encourage countries to take part in this effort, on demining operations, on assistance for victims of landmines and on destroying landmine stocks.
I am all the more proud because, on Friday, the government announced that it was renewing its funding to the tune of $72 million.
One hundred and thirty countries have now ratified the Ottawa convention and more than 34 million landmines have been destroyed. I also wish to congratulate the numerous volunteers who organized the second annual potluck dinner at Ashbury College in Rockcliffe Park last Friday night for the benefit of the landmines fund. I congratulate all those people.