My name is René Arseneault. I'm the MP for Madawaska—Restigouche, which is in a little maritime province called New Brunswick.
I am descended from proud Acadians. On my father's side, an Arseneault piloted Pierre Du Gua de Monts's ship, on which Champlain was travelling. On my mother's side, I am a Savoie. My mother is a Savoie, but from the crooked branch because we did not inherit any of the land that all the Savoies own in Europe.
Naturally, I'm proud to be Acadian. In Acadia, people speak French. As you know, Quebec is not the only place where people speak French. That is part of the beauty of Canada's cultural diversity when it comes to languages.
I'm proud to be here and to represent the people of my riding, 82% of whom are francophone. My home is not the Acadia of the sea. Traditionally, songs and poems about Acadia allude to the sea and to fishing. My Acadia is the land and the forest, particularly the lumber industry.
I welcome the French delegation.