moved for leave to introduce Bill C-528, An Act to amend the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (poverty reduction).
Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to introduce legislation that would require Canada to contribute at least 0.7% of our gross national product to official development assistance.
This bill was drafted based upon an idea from a high school student in Vancouver Kingsway, Puneet Riar, one of the winning ideas from the contest I ran called Create Your Canada. This contest engaged high school students from my riding to suggest ideas to improve Canada and the world. Our office received over 50 submissions and the winners were picked by a panel of community judges.
Ms. Riar's idea was an entry that would require Canada to meet the target of 0.7% of our gross national product to be used for development assistance. Puneet is on the Hill today to watch her idea be introduced as legislation in Parliament. I am going to quote from Puneet's submission:
We who are fortunate enough to live in Canada cannot imagine the hardships that people in developing countries face…It is a tradition for Canada to be a donor. It has been a moral obligation for Canada to give aid to those who need it.
I congratulate Puneet from Windermere Secondary School for her compassion and for her vision of Canadian leadership in global poverty reduction. I also want to acknowledge her grade 12 history teacher, Jeff Mazo, who promoted the Create Your Canada contest, as well as principal Rob Schindel, and social studies department head, Corrie Clutchey, who offered their support for this program.
I urge all members of the House to support this important piece of legislation and congratulate Puneet Riar and all the students from Windermere Secondary School for their care and concern to help make Canada a better place for everyone.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)