Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the achievements of an incredible young man from the riding of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.
Zach Hofer, 13 years of age, was passionate about youth mental health, but realized there was a lack of programs in our region that actually provided these services. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 10 and 24, yet many of our young people are left without the support that they need.
Zach took it upon himself to raise awareness and funds through his initiative, Zach makes tracks for youth mental health.
Beginning August 13, Zach walked, ran, and biked 410 kilometres from Barrie to Ottawa, finishing his triumphant journey right here on the steps of Parliament Hill on September 10. Through the generous support of donors from across Ontario and especially in Barrie, Zach makes tracks raised over $70,000 for the new youth mental health centre at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie.
I thank Zach for inspiring Canadians, young and old, to take action. We cannot wait to see what he does next.