Mr. Speaker, the applause in this House to the Prime Minister's words clearly indicates the devotion of all federalist members in this House to the cause, first and foremost, of Canada, beyond all partisan purposes.
Speaking on behalf of the Liberals, we have spent our lives devoted to building a stronger Canada, inclusive of Quebec. We believe that the present prosperity and the social harmony of our country are a testimony to the efforts of successive Liberal governments, following on the efforts, as the Prime Minister was good enough to say, of Conservative governments that were devoted, first and foremost, to our country.
We Liberals have spent our lives building our country, and our country has always included Quebec.
As I travel across this country or as I live in my great city of Toronto and see the multicultural experiment that is the modern Canada of today, I say to modern Canadians that multicultural Canada became a reality because it was a bilingual and bicultural Canada that was the foundation of our races, a foundation that was built on a sense of tolerance and respect for each other that has enabled us to be the envy of the world, a world which, as the Prime Minister has said, today is struggling with racial disharmony and sectarian differences.
People are looking for examples in a modern world that will give them hope. It is the duty of the members of this House to give them that hope. It is our duty to transcend whatever partisan issues we have in order to inspire not only Canadians but other people in the world.
For our part, we are devoted to this great country with its marvellous history and unlimited potential. We have committed ourselves to building a Canada with Quebec as a key component.
For its part, the Bloc Québécois is dedicated to destroying Canada. Although we have the greatest respect for the members of this House, we fundamentally disagree on this point.
The Bloc is committed to the breakup of Canada and, for whatever respect we might have toward individual members on this point, we must clearly and fundamentally disagree and fundamentally fight for the rights of Canada and the whole of Canada.
There are federalists and nationalists in Quebec who believe in Canada and who are deeply dedicated to a Quebec within Canada. There are women, young and old, immigrants and those born here, families and singles who believe with every fibre of a Quebec within Canada.
How could we ever support a motion on Quebec by a party that has zero commitment to Canada and which is blind to the greatness available for Quebeckers within Canada, a country in which they are at home from coast to coast to coast because we have sought to make them at home because it is their home? It is not just Quebeckers within Quebec. A Quebecker is a Canadian in British Columbia or in St. John's, and they are equally Canadian and equally welcome in that community, which is part of their community. It belongs to them.
I can only imagine what the future holds for Canada. I can only imagine the incredible opportunities for all Quebec and Canadian youth who live in a country that is the envy of the world. Francophone communities outside Quebec are asking for and want the participation of Quebeckers in order to build a better community and a better life for themselves as well. It is our duty. We must also recognize this fact.
We think of those Quebeckers, when we talk of our country, who fought for Canada in the past, and we think of those who are risking their lives in Afghanistan and around the world for Canada and for a better world for all Canadians and a better world for everybody in this world. They are risking their lives for that principle and we cannot let them down.
The Liberals will be pleased to debate any motion before this House if it will support Quebec and Quebeckers, support Canada and realize the full potential of our country.
To do otherwise is a betrayal of future generations of Quebeckers and also of Canadians. We are asking that Canada assume its responsibilities.
On behalf of my party, I say to the Prime Minister that we will work with all parties in the House, with all members who have the interests of all Canadians at heart, to adopt a solution that respects Quebec and Quebeckers and gives them that future within our wonderful country.
It will guarantee to the world that an example will continue to be given to them. There are many who wish to follow our example, an example which, if we fail them, will make the world a worse place because there are many people who wish to move into a peaceful and socially harmonious 21st century and for whom Canada will remain a beacon and an example. We cannot let them down and we must not let ourselves down. We will transcend partisanship. We will be faithful to our country, to our principles and, in the end, in so doing, Mr. Speaker and Prime Minister, we will be faithful to humanity.