Mr. Speaker, the point that needs to be made here, and I think even the Mental Health Commission in its response made the point, is that improving mental health or indeed suicide prevention is not just the government's problem. Certainly, we need to take an all-of-government approach at the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal levels. That is important. However, it is also important to recognize that we need to support the initiatives of the community groups which are already doing good work on the ground. Therefore, my view is to see the federal government provide the overall vision and coordination, the sharing of best practices and the collection of up-to-date statistics. One of the major challenges we face is that we do not have up-to-date statistics on this issue.
I want to come back to a point that is crucial. We cannot take the view in this chamber that this government, or indeed any level of government, will solve this problem. We need to recognize the important value of community groups that are doing the work on the front lines.
About two weeks ago, I served on a bowling team for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council. We raised $27,000 in this bowlathon. That is a great amount of cash to help it in its work. However, the more important part of that day for me, and it became so obvious during the afternoon, was the more than 150 bowlers who participated in that activity and who were increasing the level of conversation around suicide prevention. If we consider that probably each of those bowlers had spoken to 10 people in gathering pledges for the initiative, and we multiply that, we have possibly 1,500 people who are now aware of this issue who may not have been aware had government simply signed a cheque for $27,000.
Therefore, we can never take the approach that it is the government's problem alone. We have to work together. My initiative here is to ask the federal government to provide coordination so that when a group like the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council needs resources, it has a central repository where it can go.