Madam Speaker, I am rising today to speak on behalf of this project.
I spent a very happy Friday morning at Pier 21, as it happens, with that force of nature, Ruth Goldbloom, and Wadih Fares and all the incredible civic leaders of Halifax who have made this dream a reality.
I want to announce the support of my party for this wonderful project, but I also stand for a very personal reason. One of the greatest things about Pier 21 as a project is that it contains all the records of Canada's immigration service in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, not just for the port of entry at Halifax but for the ports of entry at Quebec City and Montreal and other ports of entry. Therefore, all Canadians will be able to go to Pier 21 and find the place where their part in the national story begins.
That is what happened to me on Friday. I asked Pier 21 whether they could locate a certain George Ignatieff, age 15, who came ashore in Canada in Quebec City in September 1928. I wanted to find the moment at which my family's story began in Canada. Thanks to the wonderful researchers at Pier 2, they went down the long columns of those admission registers, and they found that young 15-year-old, my father.
It is meaningful to me to stand in this great Parliament and acknowledge with gratitude what Canada has done for my family. I think that everyone who goes to this great national museum, everyone whose life started as an immigrant, who started the new adventure in Canada, will find this museum especially moving, especially emotional, because it is the place where when we study all those records, Canadians can find the moment when their dream began.
For that reason, I feel especially proud to stand as the leader of this party and urge the House to give rapid assent to this marvellous bill so that we can create a museum that will allow all Canadians the joy and pleasure that I enjoyed on Friday. Thanks to the work of Ruth Goldbloom and Wadih Fares and that wonderful team, all Canadian families will enjoy that moment of thrill, discovery, and emotion I experienced on Friday.