Two years ago today, I first tabled my private member's bill, An Act to declare Pope John Paul II Day in Ontario on April 2. On February 19, this Legislature participated in second reading debate on that bill, and it was passed unanimously. Over the past two years, my office has received thousands of signatures in a continuous stream of petitions calling on the Legislature to enact this bill.
Today, we join together as Canadians of diverse religious and cultural traditions to reflect on the impact of Pope John Paul II on a world that is all too often beset by violent conflict and social injustice. His message to the nations throughout his ministry was simple, yet profound: "Be not afraid." In a world that is experiencing the most serious economic upheaval since the Great Depression, these words have particular relevance today in every corner of the world.
To ensure that generations of Ontarians would have the benefit of Pope John Paul's wisdom, I call on the Premier and all members of this House to call for third and final reading and pass into law the Pope John Paul II Day bill, which would ensure that, on every April 2, Ontarians would be reminded of the legacy of this great spiritual leader and defender of social justice.
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