Madam Speaker, I have a personal connection to the bill, not because I am a Mennonite but because of the strength of the Mennonite community in my riding. I am from southwestern Saskatchewan. It is one of the areas where people have come from all over the world to settle and build communities, and the Mennonites have been a very large part of that. A whole area of my riding is primarily Mennonite.
A few years ago I was going through some of the language statistics for my riding on people's first language and what they spoke and trying to discover the different communities. I was surprised to find that German was by far the second largest language spoken in my riding.
When my colleague from Abbotsford introduced his bill, he mentioned some of the names, such of Klassen, Friesen, Toews, Penner, Reimer, Dyck, and I am familiar with those names.
A number of things really stand out about those communities and those people. Many of them had agricultural backgrounds. In my province, agriculture manufacturing has been a very large part of what Saskatchewan rural life has been about. Many of the Mennonites who worked in their shops were very thrifty. They were inventive and they led much of the early development of agricultural manufacturing in Saskatchewan. Because of that and because of the leadership they shown over the years, we are now one of the leaders around the world in agricultural manufacturing. A lot of that comes from small towns.