Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my colleague. She is quite right in her assessment. We need to recognize that the legislation we are debating today sends a very powerful message. It is not just a law that we are changing, which will have a fairly significant impact on the lives of many, but there is a certain amount of symbolism in the legislation. That is not to say that it is just symbolism. This will have a profoundly positive impact for those who genuinely believe in equality and want to fight discrimination.
Going back to the young lady to whom the member made reference, many in our society find it very difficult to understand the discrimination and the issues they have to overcome. That is one of the reasons we see a higher suicide rate, or people at least thinking about committing suicide.
As legislators, we can do things to address the issue. Today we are debating legislation that will have a positive impact in a number of ways, not just the most obvious way of changing the law. Rather, it is about education. It is about tolerance. There will be an ongoing dialogue as a direct result of this.
Ottawa is to demonstrate leadership. Other provinces have already moved, and some provinces need to move a little more. In the past, Canada has played a very strong international role. Passing this legislation and making it a part of our Human Rights Act will give Canada that much more clout when we talk about issues such as this internationally.
It is a win-win in many different ways. We know that discrimination takes place. The real winners will be individuals who are at the receiving end of that discrimination. I believe it will make a difference. I came to Ottawa for that. I know that is why MY colleagues came to Ottawa. We want to contribute to the broader debate.
We are very fortunate that we have a Minister of Justice who has been able to bring forward this legislation, and not only this one. This is her second major piece of legislation. It challenges members to think about what they want to accomplish. It allows us the opportunity to make a difference by voting for this.
Bills of this nature have a profound impact on society as a whole. I sat on opposition benches, primarily, where we saw legislation that would tinker with this or that. Because we have a Prime Minister who is committed to issues such as this, we have witnessed, in a very short time span, substantial legislation that we believe will make a difference in society. We should all be very grateful for this. I believe our constituents are well served when we have debates of this nature.
I would encourage members to look at passing the legislation and allowing it to go to committee.