Mr. Speaker, last night, thanks to the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, members of Parliament were given an opportunity to preview the movie Amazing Grace, which tells the story of British MP William Wilberforce's long fight to abolish slavery. This superb movie was produced to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.
At a time when human slavery is making a comeback illicitly, in a way that calls for concerted international action, it is important to remember that before 1807 slavery was a legal and an integral part of the imperial economy. Wilberforce had to contend with arguments that the abolition of slavery would make Britain less competitive, that it would advantage Britain's enemies, that it would eliminate jobs and that government revenues would be affected.
Wilberforce contended not only with the sugar barons and profiteers, but against an embedded economic system that contradicted God's will for human equality. He insisted that the moral thing to do was the best thing to do and that the example would catch on as ultimately it did. Surely we would do well to heed this insight when dealing with the issues of our own time.