February 17, 2005
Mr. Frank Klees (Oak Ridges): I trust that you were as shocked as I was to read that Jeremy Patfield and his classmates were ejected from Rideau Hall in Ottawa because Jeremy was overheard to ask what was a very astute question: “Is that the lady who spends the money on the queen when she comes?” He was, of course, referring to the Governor General, who is renowned for her extravagant spending habits.
Rather than being commended for his astuteness, his visit to the Governor General’s residence was abruptly terminated. What message does that send to our young people? We have all, at one time or another, expressed concern at the lack of interest in the political process on the part of youth. Here we see a spark of interest, only to have it snuffed out by the overzealous staff of the Governor General.
What will the penalty be for any of the grade 5 students who tour here if they are overhead to ask, after seeing the Premier, “Is that the man who broke all those promises?” Will they be thrown out as well?As a legislator, I want to publicly commend Jeremy Patfield for his knowledge of current events and for expressing his interest, and I want to call on the Governor General to extend a personal apology to Jeremy and to his classmates for the unconscionable treatment they experienced while they were guests in her official residence.