Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have a chance to speak to the motion. I want to pay tribute to my colleague from Papineau who is new to the House but not new to many Canadians. The motion is entirely in keeping with the work that he has led in Canada, being very involved in Katimavik, and as a leader of young Canadians.
I also want to associate myself with the generous comments from the member for Sault Ste. Marie about the member's father, which is entirely in keeping with the way he does his business here. Pierre Trudeau was a great leader in Canada. One of his great friends was Jacques Hébert. Jacques Hébert was the person who really formed Katimavik and battled for its survival when it was in peril. He was very involved as well in Canada World Youth. These are very noble people who have done a great service to Canada. This motion is in keeping with the work they have done.
I want to congratulate my colleague for the motion. It is one that I am proud to second and support enthusiastically.
The member for Papineau is well known in Canada for his support of young people and their engagement in our country. He understands the incredible benefit to our communities and our country when young people participate and are engaged.
This is the overarching purpose of the motion, to begin the debate about young people and their role in making Canada stronger.
We often hear, as politicians in the public discourse, that young people are not engaged, that they are too busy or perhaps do not care. That is not my experience at all. I would argue that there is a wealth of interest in our young people to understand their communities, their country and the world.
As a member of Parliament, it has been one of my highest priorities to meet young people. I visit schools whenever I can, elementary, junior high and senior high. One of the things I hear most often is this interest in providing service to the country, both for their benefit and, more particular, for the benefit of the country and the world.
I have had the chance to hold youth forums within my responsibilities as critic for human resources, meeting students involved with universities and colleges. The young people I meet, almost without exception, care deeply about their communities, the world around them and understand the importance of solving some of the pressing issues of our time better, in a lot of cases, than the adults around them.
My sister has been very involved with Canada World Youth and Katimavik, but she spent many years for Canada World Youth, another great program that takes kids from Canada and pairs them up with kids from other countries, usually developing countries, to do projects. It is a great building experience for young Canadians. She is now working with WUSC, which is another great organization that does work internationally. She is in Sri Lanka, a country that is torn by all kinds of troubles right now, and doing wonderful work there as well.
I have had the opportunity as a member of Parliament to travel, as most of us have, and I have had the chance to see places where Canada can make a difference. I remember a trip to Kenya with my colleagues from Scarborough—Guildwood, Halifax and Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, where we saw among the poorest people in the world, but we saw Canadians working there, helping out, providing service both to that community, to the world and to themselves.
If people do not think we can make a difference through private members' business and private members' motions, I refer them to my colleague from Scarborough—Guildwood who produced Bill C-293, the overseas development act, in the last Parliament and steered it through all the challenges and got it adopted.
There is great work to be done and my colleague, the member for Papineau, spoke about some of the domestic work.
We can do more in the world, as well, and the overseas part of this is really important. I am a little too young to recall exactly, but I read a lot about the Peace Corps of John F. Kennedy in the 1960s, the AmeriCorps of Bill Clinton in the 1990s, the Gap year in the U.K. and in other European countries. It is so important that young people have a chance. They want to be involved. They want to have that opportunity. They want to know how they can help serve their country and serve the larger community.
The response from students is very important, and it is more than most of us would hope for. There is a sense of optimism and a sense that we can make the world better, and the motion before the House, which I encourage everybody to support, will go a long way in helping them to do that.