Madam Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to rise in the House and raise a matter that I had first raised with the parliamentary secretary at the time, on February 3 about the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism. In fact, it was a multiculturalism award for which the government failed to make a call for nominations. The Liberals gave their excuse for not actually giving out the award as they did not get any nominations and so they did not give the award.
It is the government's responsibility to call for nominations, receive them, review them, and then actually give out the award. The government cannot talk a good game about inclusiveness and multiculturalism and accepting other groups into our country and making them a part of the Canadian family without actually doing something about it.
The words that come to mind, of course are from a Yiddish proverb, “On his words no building could be built.” I received a non-answer at the time from the parliamentary secretary. There was talk of the values of tolerance, inclusion, and diversity. Actually the answer had very little to do with my original query as to why the Government of Canada was failing to champion the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism.
It is an important award. It is something that many members in different ethnic communities who have become Canadian citizens were very proud of because it was an opportunity for them to promote what they were doing to integrate into the Canadian family. Another saying that is very common in the faith community I belong to is, “Faith without works is dead.”
It is part of a pattern of depriving and eliminating the legacy of the previous Conservative government. It is wiping out a legacy and promoting something new, the new sunny ways that we have heard so much about. The Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism was not just one piece that was missing. The Canada 150 medals were cancelled as well. The John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award was also eliminated. These are all initiatives started by a previous government that did good works, promoted good values, and was a good steward of values that we care about as Canadians.
Has the government actually called for nominations for the multiculturalism award related to Paul Yuzyk? If it has, will it be announcing sometime shortly who has actually been awarded this award?