Mr. Speaker, this past fall my riding of Barrie in Ontario was proud to host the first ever Great Canadian Beaver Race and Festival. This was a weekend of festivities all celebrating being Canadian, with a focus on the iconic beaver.
Over the course of the festival, approximately 7,000 people participated. Ten thousand rubber beavers took to the water and floated down the river at Heritage Park. One hundred per cent of the funds raised by the Great Canadian Beaver Race and Festival went to the Rotary Club of Barrie and were used to support over 25 community projects, organizations and local initiatives. In its very first year an astounding $65,000 was raised.
I am proud to say this race and festival will continue every year. This event is truly a demonstration of people who understand what it means to be part of the community. I would like to give special thanks to the organizers, Krista LaRiviere, John Rockburne, Shea Thurlow, Mike Kinsey, Mark Campbell, Gerry Pilon, Steve Thompson and Taylor Quinn, for all their hard work.