Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring a unanimous consent motion, seconded by the member for Pickering—Uxbridge, in relation to the commemoration of a member of Parliament and First World War soldier name Sam Sharpe.
The motion is about remembrance and reducing the stigma associated with mental injuries from service. It is the result of the personal support of a number of members of the House. I would like to recognize some of these MPs to show Canadians that remembrance of this nature is beyond partisanship.
To start, I would like to recognize the Minister of Veterans Affairs for his support of the motion, and of course the seconder of the motion, the member for Pickering—Uxbridge, who represents the modern riding once represented by Sam Sharpe.
I would also like to thank and recognize the tremendous efforts of the following members: the member for Scarborough—Guildwood, the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, the member forParkdale—High Park, the member for Don Valley West, the member for Kingston and the Islands, the member for Winnipeg Centre, the member for Burlington, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, the member for Barrie—Innisfil, the member for Brantford—Brant, the member for Yorkton—Melville, the member for Cariboo—Prince George, the member for Souris—Moose Mountain, the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, the member for Victoria, the member for Beloeil—Chambly, and the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
Without the support of numerous parliamentarians, including former senator Roméo Dallaire, and without the support of numerous veterans and passionate Canadians across the country, we would not be able to commemorate the First World War victories we are so proud of and the heartbreaking sacrifices of those who served our country.
Following the provision of detailed information on the history of Sam Sharpe to all members of the chamber and as a result of discussions among the parties, if you seek it, Mr. Speaker, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
That, the House:
(a) Recognize that (i) Samuel Simpson Sharpe was elected to the House of Commons in 1908, 1911, and 1917, (ii) that member of Parliament Sharpe raised the 116th Battalion from Ontario County and fought with his battalion at Vimy Ridge, Avion, Hill 70 and Passchendaele, (iii) that Sharpe was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallant leadership, (iv) that he was the only sitting Member of Parliament re-elected in the 1917 election while fighting on active service at the front, (v) that Sam Sharpe tragically died by suicide at the Royal Victoria Hospital on May 25, 1918, (vi) that for unknown reasons after the re-opening of Centre Block in 1920 there was no plaque or marker ordered to commemorate the service and memory of Sam Sharpe; and
(b) Therefore, on this day—one day before the 100th anniversary of the tragic death of MP Sam Sharpe—this House calls for the commemorative bronze plaque of Sam Sharpe, sculpted by Canadian artist Tyler Briley, to be installed in the Centre Block ahead of the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War; and
(c) That the Minister of Veterans Affairs being given the discretion by this motion to allow the Sam Sharpe plaque to be loaned to the Royal Ottawa Operational Stress Injury Clinic, or another suitable mental health treatment facility, for the duration of the closure of Centre Block with the intention that the plaque be returned to its place of installation in Centre Block once it reopens.