Mr. Speaker, the Lachine Canal is an important part of the history of Canada, Quebec, and my riding, LaSalle—Émard—Verdun. The canal opened in 1925, was enlarged twice in the 19th century, and played an important role in the industrial development of Canada and Montreal. Lachine was a stop for vessels on their way to the major industrial centres of Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago and, at its peak, just before the 1929 crash, 15,000 vessels a year travelled through the canal, providing jobs for 25,000 workers.
Several Quebec cities, such as Verdun and LaSalle, owe much of their development to the canal's construction. The Lachine canal is reminder of Canada's industrial history and was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1996. Renovations will bring about changes to its use, as the recreational aspect of the canal is being developed. I am extremely proud that our government has taken steps to protect the canal and to ensure that this irreplaceable ecosystem remains sound and an asset for future generations to enjoy.