Statement made on 08 November 2006 by Senator Joyce Fairbairn (retired)
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn:
Honourable senators, today the literacy troops are arriving from across the country in preparation for Literacy Action Day tomorrow, and many are already enthusiastically meeting with parliamentarians in their offices on the Hill. For them, this is perhaps the most important visit in the past 11 years as the literacy movement is facing changes that affect tutors, learners and organizers across this country.
With a new government, there is a new approach, and this army of volunteers and organizers want to learn about it directly, and are doing it with enthusiasm and with hope for a good working relationship.
Senators will know from the outstanding speeches that have been given in this chamber by colleagues on both sides of the house that literacy is indeed a foundation issue for the future success of our country. It cannot be organized in these buildings, nor delivered directly to tutors and learners alike. It is an issue that is founded on the encouragement and financial support of all levels of government for the benefit of every corner of Canada.
Many of you will have a chance to meet with these strong and positive citizens, who have made quite an effort to come far from home to tell their stories; and all of you can share lunch with them during the luncheon at noon tomorrow in Room 256-S.
Their first words to you will be those of appreciation for our support and pride for the success and new opportunities it has helped to create.
Today, I met a young man from Newfoundland who said it all. Through the great support offered in that province, he has changed his life, and that of his wife and children, by seeking out a chance to learn and be able to offer all of them — and himself — a fair chance for a good life.
He is now a student at Memorial University, doing what all of us hope for these friends of ours, these Canadian citizens who are trying hard. We are helping them and we must continue to help them because it is working, honourable senators.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.