Mr. Speaker, I want to thank members of the House for the discussion we have had on this important topic.
It is never easy to talk about death, and as members have acknowledged, it is even more difficult to talk about suicide. That is why this conversation was so important. I am grateful to all hon. members who joined in.
As I have said so often, in this case the conversation is just as important as the legislation, but the legislation is important. We know that 10 Canadians die by suicide each day. We know that suicide is the second largest killer of our youth. We know there are identifiable communities which suffer from suicide rates that are grossly disproportionate to their general population.
These are broad statistics that do not lie, but while the statistics are depressing, the thousands of stories behind the statistics are tragic. Let me share one person's story.
This individual was molested at the age of seven. This person also experienced severe bullying. Today, he is openly talking about taking his own life. This individual just turned 11. It is one thing to hear numbers about youth suicide, but it is another thing entirely to be confronted by a real-life story where an 11-year-old child requires intervention.
As the father of three children and the proud grandparent of nine, I was sick when I heard this story. What to do? I am not trained in crisis intervention, but when this child's mother sought help from my office, we were able to connect her with people who possess the skills, experience, understanding and training to offer help.
It was on the recommendation of a friend who follows the deliberations of this House that the mother contacted me. The conversation has already made a difference.
Bill C-300 is only under debate. The legislation has not yet been enacted and is not in force. This conversation, though, has been ongoing for months, and without this conversation, at least one child would still be contemplating a very permanent response to some temporary and surmountable challenges, but with connections to help has now found hope.
I thank all hon. members for the quality of debate they brought to this topic. I thank members from my party and also members from the opposition parties who were willing to attach their names to this effort as joint seconders.
This conversation has already helped at least one child. Please do not let this conversation end with this debate. I ask all hon. members to keep it alive, both here in Ottawa and at home in their constituencies.
Every riding in Canada needs to engage in this dialogue. The most important type of leadership members of the House can provide is not as makers of the law, but as local leaders of critical and crucial conversations. By continuing the conversation, each one of us can help break the stigma and the silence. We can provide hope, the oxygen of the human spirit.
I ask members to allow Bill C-300 to proceed without a standing vote. I ask them to let Bill C-300 move as quickly as possible to the Senate to become law and provide hope as soon as possible. With each day's delay, 10 Canadians will fall victim to suicide.