MP seeks to honour John Paul II

  • April 16, 2007
TORONTO - A member of Ontario’s provincial legislature wants the province to recognize April 2 as Pope John Paul II Day. On that very day, Conservative MPP Frank Klees planned to introduce into the legislature a private member’s bill to commemorate the day the late pope died two years ago.
“I’m really hopeful it will bring people together,” Klees, MPP for Oak Ridges in Richmond Hill, told The Catholic Register.

“I am not Roman Catholic, but I can tell you’ve I’ve been affected by his life and teachings,” he said. “Pope John Paul visited Ontario on two occasions (1984 and 2002) and each time he was here he made such an incredible impact on all of us.”

Klees said he thought the Pope’s efforts to reach beyond the Catholic Church to defend human rights of all peoples, regardless of their faiths, would appeal to Ontario’s diverse multicultural society.

In fact, the bill’s preamble says “The legacy of Pope John Paul II is one that reflects his lifetime commitment to international understanding, peace and the defence of equality and human rights.”

Klees said that after the bill is introduced for first reading in the legislature, it will be scheduled for debate and second reading. It can then go to a committee for consideration or, if there is enough support, it could go directly to the entire legislature for third and final reading.

Klees said it is up to the government to take it to this final stage. To gauge support for the bill, he is encouraging people to register their approval in petitions to him and other MPPs that will then be presented in the legislature.

To obtain a petition, contact Klees’ office at Queen's Park, Rm. 447, Main Legislative Building, Toronto. ON M7A 1A8, call (416) 325-7316, or visit his web site at .

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