moved for leave to introduce Bill C-573, An Act to establish Pope John Paul II Day.
Madam Speaker, today I have the honour of introducing my private member's bill that I have entitled, “an act to establish Pope John Paul II Day”.
I am particularly moved to introduce the bill, being a proud first generation Polish Canadian and practising Roman Catholic. However, it must be remembered that the impact of this man, who has been granted the title “Venerable” by Pope Benedict XVI and is on his way to sainthood, goes well beyond his Polish roots or Roman Catholic faith.
Pope John Paul II is universally recognized as a leading figure in world history and a principle force behind the ending of communism in Eastern Europe. He bridged divides between the Roman Catholic Church and other religions. He visited 129 countries and attracted some of the largest crowds in history, such as over 5 million people in Manila in 1995 and over 800,000 in Toronto in 2002.
I will be asking for the support of my colleagues to designate each April 2, the anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death, as Pope John Paul II day across Canada.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)