Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise again in the House to debate my bill, which seeks to change the name of my riding from Châteauguay—Lacolle to Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville. Is that not a beautiful name?
As I mentioned during the first hour of debate in December, the name Châteauguay—Lacolle is inaccurate because the municipality of Lacolle is actually in the riding of my hon. colleague from Saint-Jean. The municipality in my riding is Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle. Many people have told me that they do not like the name of the riding because it causes confusion and is damaging to the pride that the people of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle take in their municipality and to their feeling of belonging
Over the past few months, I have consulted with municipal officials and many people throughout the region, and the new name that was first suggested by the former mayor of Napierville, Jacques Délisle, achieved the greatest consensus.
A petition calling on the House of Commons to change the name of our riding has already garnered several hundred signatures and is still circulating in the region. I would like to remind members why the proposed name, Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville, is a logical and meaningful choice.
First, Les Jardins-de-Napierville is the name of a regional county municipality that includes nine of our 15 municipalities. Second, all of the citizens can identify with the full name. The main city, Châteauguay, is located at the northwest end of the riding. The residents of the five surrounding municipalities can identify with the expression greater Châteauguay, while the RCM of Jardins-de-Napierville includes the nine other municipalities located in the southern and eastern parts of the riding. Third, the Jardins-de-Napierville RCM, whose beauty is represented by the word “Jardins”, or gardens, is well known and highly regarded for being the top market gardening region in Quebec. Lastly, the new name is a good representation of the semi-urban, semi-rural nature of our riding.
I am so pleased that my hon. colleagues from Louis-Saint-Laurent, Newmarket—Aurora, Edmonton Riverbend, and the neighbouring riding, Salaberry—Suroît, all expressed their support for Bill C-377 during the first hour of debate.
I dare say that they and other members of the House will remember how I clearly and carefully demonstrated that the name I am proposing meets all guidelines and technical requirements as outlined by Elections Canada, for example, the requirement that the name not exceed 50 characters, and that, for a combination-style name, there be proper usage of dashes, hyphens, and spaces.
In conclusion, I want to note some of the reasons my constituents and I are so proud of our home and why we are so intent on changing our riding name to a name that reflects us.
The rural part of the riding, known as “Les Jardins-de-Napierville”, is located on a part of the region called the “terres noires” because the soil there is among the most fertile in the country. This is why the area is known by many as the pantry of Quebec.
I also want to highlight some of our amazing tourist attractions, which combine history, culture, the outdoors, and environmental conservation. For example, you can travel the Circuit du Paysan by car or by bike to visit wineries and cider mills. At the Île Saint-Bernard wildlife refuge in Châteauguay, you can participate in all kinds of activities, like its famous Écomarché and its bird-watching sites. Lastly, I cannot forget about the Fiesta des cultures de Saint-Rémi cultural festival, the Saint-Cyprien-de-Napierville dragway, and the Parc Régional in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle.
I am pleased to sponsor this bill, as it gives me an opportunity to celebrate the treasures you can find in our beautiful part of the country. It also gives me an opportunity to celebrate the pride these residents have in their homeland by giving our riding a name that suits us perfectly: Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville.