Madam Speaker, it is my privilege to wrap up what has been a wonderful experience. I cannot begin to express my thanks and appreciation to all my colleagues, both on this side of the House and on the other side.
Listening to the member for Ottawa West—Nepean telling her marvellous stories reminded me of some of the experiences I had in my own house. My wife is here with me today. She can testify to how her family would protect Jews on the farm as well. My father was a member of the Dutch underground.
This motion has two stories. The first story is about our brave troops, the ones that my colleague so eloquently told us about, and how they died and were left on the shores and in the ditches of the Netherlands. They gave their lives so we could experience this tremendous freedom and place we love so much, Canada.
It is also the story of brave immigrants, not just the Dutch. All of us have so many different ethnicities in our ridings, those who have come from other lands. We have heard about the challenges and the hardships they faced and yet they rose to the top. As a result, Canada is a better country for it.
I had the opportunity to visit with a friend of mine, someone I grew up with. He lived across the road when we were kids. He told me about his dad and mom, Henk and Allie Zantingh, coming to this country in 1957, with their 11 children. He worked for a fruit farmer a little south of Chatham and picked apples for 50¢ an hour.
Clarence said that his first memory of his parents were seeing his dad cry. His dad was experiencing what so many immigrants experience. He was crying and wondering how he was going to make it. Clarence's mother put her arms around him. They were sustained by their faith and by their hope for a better day. Today, I would suggest that there may be as many as 100 offspring of my friend's family and they are all great contributing members of our society.
I share with all members in this place our deep appreciation for this country, for the opportunities that are granted to us as citizens. I know I speak for all Dutch immigrants, as well as all the other immigrants in the country, who are so thankful they are here and so thankful they can contribute to the country as well.
I look forward to the vote that will take place on my motion. I thank all members for their contributions.