Mr. Speaker, from December 28, 2008 to January 4, 2009, the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island will host the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Five regional all-star teams from across Canada will compete against national teams from the U.S., Russia, Finland, Germany and Slovakia. The 32 game series will take place in Port Alberni, supported by Nanaimo, Parksville, Courtenay, Campbell River and Duncan.
The residents of Port Alberni are renowned for their can-do attitude. It is the only community in B.C. to host all four provincial games: the summer games, the winter games, the seniors games and the disability games.
Everyone can be sure that Port Alberni will make this an event to remember. The talent scouts will be there as these top-notch young athletes showcase their skills. Many are going to find their way to the NHL and other top hockey teams.
The community has already invited the Prime Minister to attend. I would like to invite you, Mr. Speaker, all members and hockey enthusiasts from across the country to come on out to Port Alberni, escape the snow, visit Vancouver Island and witness some of the finest amateur hockey the world has to offer.