Local petition reaches the House of Commons

Nick Seebruch
Local petition reaches the House of Commons
Cornwall's Little Historian Sara Lauzon at the House of Refuge monument

OTTAWA, Ontario – Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MP Guy Lauzon presented a petition to the House of Commons on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The petition was created by Cornwall’s Little Historian Sara Lauzon to gain recognition for those who lived in Canada’s Houses of Refuge.

The petition is asking the government to make April 14, of every year, as Poor House Commemoration Day in Canada. This day will commemorate and celebrate the lives of Canadian Citizens and Immigrants that died or lived in an Asylum, a House of Refuge, or a Poor House facility in Canada.

“Mr. Speaker, Sara Lauzon, a young, dynamic constituent in Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, asked me to present a petition, calling upon the House of Commons to pass a motion recognizing April 14 of every year as poor house commemoration day in Canada,” MP Guy Lauzon said before the House of Commons on Wednesday. “This day would commemorate the lives of Canadian citizens that died or lived in an asylum, a house of refuge, or a poor house facility in Canada. The suggested date for the holiday is April 14 due to the act respecting mentally incompetent persons and their estates passed in Alberta in 1937,” he continued.

“I was pleased to rise in the House yesterday to present the petition created by our local historian, Sara Lauzon,” Guy Lauzon wrote on his Facebook Page on Thursday, Nov. 9.

In a statement to Seaway News Sara Lauzon said that she was thrilled with the result of her summer long campaign to promote the petition.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” she said. “It was a lot of hard work trying to tell everyone about the petition, and asking them to sign. In order for the petition to go through to the House of Commons, it needed 500 signatures minimum. I was floored to have 150 over that.”

The next step says Sara is for the government to refer the petition to the appropriate department, in this case Heritage Canada, who will reply within 45 calendar days.
Cornwall’s House of Refuge saw over 900 individuals pass through its walls during its time in operation between 1913 and 1952
To view MP Lauzon’s statement to the House of Commons please follow this link and search for Guy Lauzon.
The original petition can be viewed here.
Share this article