Mr. Speaker, last week I was pleased to join Principal Gretsinger and the students and staff of Oakridge Public School to plant an English oak sapling. However, this was no ordinary oak sapling. As Callie Germain, an Oakridge student, noted, the Battle of Vimy Ridge was a significant moment in our collective history, a defining moment for Canada. One hundred years ago, that battle left Vimy Ridge a barren wasteland. Of the many oaks that once stood tall, only one remained. Lieutenant Leslie Miller, of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, found the acorns from that remaining tree and brought them home to Canada. The sapling we planted in St. Catharines is a direct descendant of that remaining oak.
It was my pleasure to personally donate one of the remaining saplings to Oakridge. Its location holds personal significance for me, as my son Ethan will one day attend Oakridge Public School. My hope is that this tree grows tall and serves as a monument for the students of Oakridge and the residents of St. Catharines to remind them of the tremendous sacrifice given by so many in service to St. Catharines and to Canada.