Mr. Speaker, some prime ministers have provided the leadership that makes our country great. One such leader was the Right Hon. Richard Bedford Bennett, a son of New Brunswick and a westerner by adoption.
R.B. Bennett was prime minister from 1930 to 1935 and was elected after campaigning to fight the Great Depression.
Upon winning office, he allocated aid to the unemployed and continued this with the Relief Act of 1932. He addressed the country on radio, promoting minimum wage, unemployment insurance, health care and the regulation of banks, all early examples of modern public policy.
Prime Minister Bennett created the Bank of Canada, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, later the CBC, and the Canadian Wheat Board, although membership then was voluntary.
Importantly, he signed the Statute of Westminster, making Canada fully independent and equal in status to Great Britain.
It is time that recognition be given to Prime Minister R.B. Bennett who achieved so much despite enormous obstacles.
I fully support the effort to have a statue erected on Parliament Hill to commemorate his contribution to Canada and call upon our government to join this bipartisan campaign. The time for a statue of R.B. Bennett is now.