Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Canwest Canspell spelling bee participants from across Canada. This grassroots literacy initiative encourages academic excellence in grades four to eight students. Approximately 250,000 young spellers participated in the 2010 Canspell competition.
I would like to make special mention of Josh Mathews who is with us on Parliament Hill today with many of his fellow competitors. He is a grade five student from the riding of Winnipeg South and he won the Winnipeg Free Press regional spelling bee.
Josh and the top spellers from each regional bee received a $5,000 Canspell Education Award. Congratulations to all them. I wish them the best of luck this week as they compete for the Canadian title.
I would also like to point out that it is Josh's 11th birthday on Monday. Happy Birthday, Josh, and good luck to everyone involved.