Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to present a petition signed by hundreds of people all across British Columbia, calling for the establishment of a high commission in the Republic of the Fiji Islands.
Many people from the Fijian community in Canada, which I would point out number over 100,000 strong, have pointed out that the lack of consular services in Fiji presents a lot of difficulties for them.
The petitioners note that Fiji is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. They state that that the lack of consular services in that country means the situation causes inordinate delay and efficient service for tourist, visa, business and immigration issues, both for Canadian and Fijian citizens. They also note that the United States, Australia, New Zealand, China and India all have embassies or high commissions in Fiji.
I want to point out the hard work of one of my constituents, Mr. Vince Sharma, who has collected thousands and thousands of signatures, calling on the government to establish this very important services for Fijians and for Canadians of Fijian descent who travel to Fiji on business and personal business very frequently. This would be of great assistance to them.