Mr. Speaker, on March 11, 54 independent nations, including Canada, will be celebrating Commonwealth Day. This year the theme of Commonwealth Day is “Opportunity through Enterprise”.
Canadians understand the concept of entrepreneurship well. Innovation and risk taking, along with property rights, individual rights, the rule of law and free trade are many of the keys to our economic success as a nation. Encouraging entrepreneurship in less developed nations will help them move forward too, as economic growth allows for better nutrition, education and health care.
I am proud of the work our branch of the CPA has done over the years to promote entrepreneurship, as well as basic democratic and legal principles in so many of the new democracies within the Commonwealth.
On another note, after seven years as Canadian chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, I will be stepping aside. I want to thank all my colleagues in the House for granting me the tremendous privilege and honour of serving Parliament and our nation in this role.