Mr. Speaker, the Montreal Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society has just declared Madame Louise Laurin patriot of the year for 2005-06. Although this was partly for her life's work, it was mainly for her lead role in the Quebec government's adoption of an inclusive educational policy, and in particular the replacement of religious education by moral education and an introduction to world religions. This even took an amendment to the Constitution.
Louise Laurin, a woman of ideals and determination, with a long career in teaching and school administration, particularly working with immigrants, realized that a secular school with the same open welcome for all children would play a better role in ensuring integration and francization. Despite the major challenges this entailed, Louise Laurin's efforts to rally and mobilize, inform, convince and encourage were crowned with success.
An independentist from the very start, Louise Laurin has always focussed her efforts on a homeland that is inclusive, generous, open to the world, and French.