Wetaskiwin MP Blain Calkins had his private member’s motion on the First Nations cadet programs debated in the House of Commons Oct. 6.
“It was heartening and highly unusual for a private members’ motion to receive all party support in the first hour of debate,” said Calkins. The motion called on the government “to examine First Nations cadet programs and develop a plan to facilitate, promote and help monitor First Nations community cadet programs across Canada.”
With RCMP Const. Richard Huculiak, the program’s founder and co-ordinator and Capt. Noreen Buffalo, Hobbema Cadet Society president looking on from the gallery, Calkins told the story of how the Hobbema Cadet program began and its importance as a crime prevention initiative.
Calkins said his purpose in putting forward this motion was “to bring to the attention of the House a unique and special community cadet program that is helping to bring a positive choice to the youth of the four bands of Hobbema, while stemming the tide of violence and the spread of gang recruitment on the reserves in the constituency of Wetaskiwin”.
Members of Parliament were moved by the dedication of the cadets and their leaders and their commitment to an alternative life style that offers the participants a chance to learn new skills, to make new friends, and have new, rewarding experiences.
The motion is tentatively scheduled to receive a second and final hour of debate on Nov. 18 and Calkins is hoping that all members of Parliament will confirm their support for this remarkable, grassroots initiative.