Mr. Speaker, when the Canada-U.S. free trade deal was first announced over 30 years ago, many B.C. grape-growers feared it would mean tearing out the whole valley full of crops, tearing out vineyards out of fear that they could not compete with the giant California wine industry.
However, there was a man, a visionary man, who believed B.C. could grow and produce the best wines in the world, and his name was Harry McWatters, who is also known as the grandfather of British Columbia wine.
Harry's accomplishments are far too many to mention, but suffice it to say he was a visionary, his thinking was bold and his passion and commitment to excellence were traits he happily shared with those in the industry. More importantly, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather.
This summer, we sadly said farewell to Harry, who passed away at his home in Summerland, British Columbia. I would ask this place to join me in recognizing an outstanding Canadian, a man who in his own endeavours demonstrated that Canadians can succeed and compete in an industry once thought impossible.
God bless Harry McWatters, and may he rest in peace.