Mr. Speaker, this past weekend we marked the 200 year anniversary of the War of 1812. British North America faced retaliation by American armies for press gangs and a blockade. At the time, many echoed Thomas Jefferson's bold prediction that an American victory was inevitable and would be a mere matter of marching. Yet the small and professional British army, alongside colonial militia and Indian allies, were able to repel repeated American invasions.
The War of 1812 ensured that the historic traditions of British liberty would live on in North America. It gave strength to the Canadian militia movement and to the notion of a citizen's duty and responsibility to bear arms for the defence of the nation. These same principles of freedom, liberty and voluntary military service are just as important today as they were 200 years ago.
We remember the sacrifices made by our soldiers then and now.
Today, we share the world's longest non-militarized border with the United States. May it be that way for our children and all future generations.