Déclaration/Statement: Parkinson

Déclaration de Martha à la Chambre des communes/Statement by Martha in the House of Commons :

Monsieur le Président, avril est le Mois national de la sensibilisation à la maladie de Parkinson et cette semaine est la Semaine de sensibilisation à la maladie de Parkinson.

Depuis sa création au Canada en 1984, la Semaine de sensibilisation à la maladie de Parkinson nous donne à tous la chance de mieux connaître et de mieux faire connaître cette maladie neurologique dévastatrice dont quelque 100 000 Canadiens affectés.

This week highlights the importance of research into the causes and treatments of Parkinson's. At the forefront of advocating for this is Parkinson Society Canada, which this year is celebrating 45 years of supporting and serving Canadians and their families affected by this disease.

Parkinson Society Canada is urging all Canadians to take part in fundraising events being held in communities across the country this week, events that will raise money and awareness for the causes, symptoms, treatments and needs of people with Parkinson's and their loved ones.

We cannot give up our search for a cure.


Déclaration/Statement: National Volunteer Week

Ms. Martha Hall Findlay (Willowdale, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this week is Canada's National Volunteer Week, and I wish to underline the importance of volunteers to this country.

The work of volunteers often goes unnoticed, but some of our most valued institutions run on volunteer work.

Thousands of volunteers work every weekend without pay to make sure that things like hockey and soccer happen for our kids. Without volunteers, many children simply would not have access to community sports and activities.

Pensons aux Jeux olympiques: si les athlètes nous ont fièrement représentés dans les compétitions et les médias, ce sont les milliers de bénévoles qui ont fait le travail d'arrière-coulisses qui ont permis la tenue de cette grande rencontre sportive. Sans eux, les Jeux olympiques auraient été impossibles.

Et il n'y a pas que les sports: il y a des bénévoles dans les hôpitaux d'un bout à l'autre du Canada, des bénévoles dans les écoles, dans les partis politiques, dans les clubs citoyens.

Cette semaine est l'occasion de souligner l'apport inestimable de ces gens à la vie communautaire.


Canada at 150: The Willowdale Experience

As industry leaders, academics and politicians gathered together in Montreal for “Canada at 150: Rising to the Challenge,” a group of enthusiastic participants also gathered at the North York Civic Centre in Willowdale to watch and participate in conference discussion. Over the course of the two days we broadcast the webcast over 40 participants joined in, and created some powerful discussions in our corner of the country.

We kicked off on Saturday with a small group including M.P. for York South-Weston, Alan Tonks. Mr. Tonks stayed with us throughout the morning chatting with the attendees that had gotten up early to participate. Hon. Judy Sgro, M.P. for York West also joined in for a short time. Mid-afternoon, our own M.P. Martha Hall Findlay called in with her own impressions of the conference, boasting that there was great conversation happening not only on stage in Montreal, but in the hallways and corridors between sessions as well. If Council Chambers in North York were any indication, it sounds as if Canadians were engaging in similar dialogue and debate right across the country. We contributed to the more formal discussion with several question submissions throughout the day, and though none came up at the conference, we did all cheer on Elizabeth Dubois from Martha’s office as she appeared on screen to ask one from the floor. For the record, we counted it as a Willowdale question! Behind the scenes we were also having a lot of fun (as we seem to so often do), one particular fit of laughter came as Carol and I tried to improvise the opening a coffee can with only a set of car keys. Though successful, we were clearly lacking the grace of the famous Willowdale Women at that particular moment.

A bit bleary eyed early Sunday morning, Robert Fowler’s keynote quickly snapped us all back to attention and quickly stirred more discussion. As the day progressed we welcomed Liberal candidate Andrea Matrosovs who had come all the way from Simcoe-Gray and the Hon. Ken Dryden, M.P. for York Centre, who had recently flown in after spending the first two days of the conference in Montreal. Together we watched as Michael Ignatieff made his closing remarks with what we all felt were some bold policy proposals. It was terrific to see that already, the ideas that were flowing from Montreal were being filtered into a strong political message. Mr. Dryden offered some additional words of wisdom and encouragement, pushing us all to stay engaged as we continue to craft our political direction.

So after hours of policy, dozens of Timbits and several pots of coffee, we all came away, with not only a few new ideas and policy perspectives, but also with a huge amount of gratitude for the Liberals for working so hard to engage Canadians from coast to coast and allowing us all to participate in satellite sessions like this one (or on computers at home). Thanks to the M.P.s and their offices who worked with us to make this happen in Willowdale. It was a unique experience speaking with a number of them in an intimate setting and getting immediate reaction to a landmark event. Also special thanks to Councillor John Filion, Willowdale (Ward 23) and his staff for securing the use of the Council Chambers. The crew from the City of Toronto from IT to A/V to security were all incredibly helpful. With the success of this event, it surely won’t be the last. We hope that you’ll join us for the next one!

- Markus O’Brien Fehr


Canada 150

This past weekend was an exciting one for the politicos in our country. People from across the country gathered in Montreal, online, and in 70 satellite conferences in various regions (including one in Willowdale!) from coast to coast to coast. Though the event was hosted by Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party of Canada it was non-partisan allowing for an open, thoughtful and frank discussion on where Canadian policy needs to go and how we are going to get there.

As a Young Liberal participating in the Montreal conference (and online, seeing as the Internet is more or less attached permanently to my hand) I had the chance to converse with some truly amazing people. The weekend was inspirational to say the least.

We talked about the challenges of an aging population, the changing job market, the economy, the environment, carbon tax. We explored culture and the effects of the digital age, we looked at youth representation and the impact of the voluntary sector and NGOs. This multi-directional conversation is an exciting and dynamic dialogue that, I think, is allowing more people the opportunity to engage in politics – and isn’t that what democracy is, everyone with a voice, everyone engaged? Well it is the democracy I want to be a part of at least. One where citizens are excited about politics and eager to contribute.

For more on Canada 150 and to watch videos of the conference proceedings from Montreal check out the website: http://can150.ca/