Mr. Speaker, last night I attended a very special dinner, the first of many of “The Night of a Thousand Dinners” to raise money for the removal of landmines.
Every year the Canadian Landmine Foundation and Adopt-a-Minefield ask individuals to host an event around the first Thursday in November. Guests bring donations toward landmine removal projects in six countries.
While it only costs $3 to plant a landmine, it requires $1,000 to remove one. Canada took the lead in the Ottawa treaty banning anti-personnel landmines, but there are still 45 million to 50 million landmines in the ground in at least 70 countries. They kill or maim over 15,000 people every year. The true tragedy of landmines is that they continue to destroy lives, often those of innocent children, long after the conflict has ended.
We as Canadians are all too personally familiar with the terrible effects of landmines, as just a few weeks ago we saw two of our own brave soldiers become victims.
I encourage my fellow parliamentarians and all Canadians to follow the lead of our colleagues in the other place and sponsor a landmine dinner this year.