Official presentation of a petition at the House of Commons, concerning the Wapikoni mobile’s funding

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, today, I am very pleased to present a petition signed by nearly 2,000 people—it is too heavy for me to lift—including a number of residents of a first nation village, people from various cities and elected officials.

As you can see, these people come from a variety of backgrounds but they all firmly believe in a very important project: Wapikoni Mobile. This program, which produces movies and music, gives hope to aboriginal youth and sometimes literally saves their lives, is itself in danger.

The program's main source of funding—the $490,000 that it receives from the federal government and that ensures the survival of the mobile studio—was eliminated without warning.

Yet, in the seven years that the program has been in place, Wapikoni Mobile has proven its worth. Young participants have won 49 national and international awards, which is an average of seven awards per year.

How many projects can boast such an accomplishment?

Wapikoni Mobile must survive. That is what the nearly 2,000 people who signed this petition are asking the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development.