moved that Bill C-377, An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Châteauguay—Lacolle, be read the third time and passed.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak today to debate the importance of my bill, a private member's bill, Bill C-377, for my constituents in the riding called, for now, Châteauguay—Lacolle.
This is an important step because every time I address my constituents, either when I am asked to speak on their behalf or when I knock on doors and introduce myself as the member for Châteauguay—Lacolle, I am asked why the name of the riding is still Châteauguay—Lacolle, when Lacolle is not even part of the riding.
I have already spoken at length about the reasons why and how the mistake was made in our riding name. During the last electoral boundaries readjustment in 2013, those who were in charge of correcting the riding name simply failed to do so. I am here today to correct that mistake. I was made aware of it during my nomination process for the 2015 election.
As a longtime resident of Châteauguay, I was pleased to see that our new riding included 14 other wonderful municipalities. However, I was dismayed to discover that the Lacolle in Châteauguay—Lacolle referred to the border crossing in our riding rather than the municipality of Lacolle, which is part of the neighbouring riding, Saint-Jean. How must the residents of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, who are my constituents, have felt when they realized that the name of our federal riding did not refer to their community, but to the border crossing?
When I visited the representatives of each of our municipalities to talk about the issues of concern to them, the riding name was obviously one of them. People suggested new, more appropriate names. I would like to point out that it was the late Jacques Délisle, who was the mayor of Napierville at the time, who was the first to propose replacing “Lacolle” with “Les Jardins-de-Napierville”. Everyone quickly agreed to his suggestion. The name made sense and was meaningful to people in our region. I have already stated in the House the many reasons why the riding name should be changed to “Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville”.
However, I would like to reiterate what I think are the two most important reasons behind this choice of name. First, the RCM of Jardins-de-Napierville includes nine of the 15 municipalities in our region. They are Sainte-Clotilde, Saint-Patrice-de-Sherrington, Napierville, Saint-Cyprien-de-Napierville, Saint-Jacques-le-Mineur, Saint-Édouard, Saint-Michel, Saint-Rémi and, of course, Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle.
The residents of the other six municipalities, which are Saint-Urbain-Premier, Sainte-Martine, Mercier, Saint-Isidore, Léry, and of course Châteauguay, identify with the Grand Châteauguay region. As a result, everyone will see themselves in the name “Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville”.
Yes, we are proud that we enjoy the best of all worlds in our riding, both urban and rural. When I meet citizens at the door, the grocery store, or a town hall and they ask me when the name of the riding is going to be changed, I am so delighted to say that we are getting it done.
However, now it appears that we face opposition in this House to the name change my citizens so desperately want. Indeed, I was confident from the words expressed by my fellow members at the second reading stage and at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs that Bill C-377 had the support of all parties in the House. Apparently, as shown by the dissenting voices of last week, that was not the case.
Now I dare hope, knowing how important it is to my constituents to see themselves in the name of of our great and beautiful riding, that every member of this House will vote with me, in one voice, to say yea to the name of “Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville”.