moved for leave to introduce Bill C-488, An Act respecting a National Hockey Day.
Mr. Speaker, this is the second time that I have brought this bill to the House. I am very grateful that my bill is being seconded by my wonderful colleague, the NDP critic for sport, the member for Chambly—Borduas, a great advocate for sport and for our winter national sport, hockey.
The intention of the bill is to recognize the role that hockey plays in our communities. It is a game played by all ages and by all sexes. It is important for the government to recognize this winter sport and encourage the engagement of everyone, including new Canadians, to encourage new Canadians to get out on local rinks, to flood their backyards and get to know their neighbours by inviting children over.
Hockey has played a major role in Canadian identity historically and into the future. The intention of the bill is not to put focus on those professional hockey players that people like to fight over, it is quite the reverse. It is to encourage people to get out and watch their kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews or their neighbour's kids and cheer them on. Everyone participates.
The intention is to declare the third Friday in February national hockey day. Regrettably as a backbencher I cannot say that this will be a statutory holiday, but I am sure that the government would love to adopt the bill and make it so.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)