Mr. Speaker, as president of the Canada-Portugal Friendship Group I welcome to Canada the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, Mr. José Lello.
Portuguese explorers arrived in North America nearly 500 years ago. Since the establishment of their community, which numbers 500,000 today, Canadians of Portuguese origin have and continue to make a great contribution to the social, political and economic fabric of Canada's mosaic.
Our common membership in the United Nations, NATO, the OSCE and the OECD as well as recent commercial and technological links have strengthened Canada-Portugal relations.
This morning, with the member for Hull and the President of the Treasury Board, I attended the inauguration of a monument to all people of Portuguese origin in Hull. I will, if I may, cite the extract
from a poem by Jorge de Sena that is inscribed on the plaque. It reads: "I can only be from the land where I was born. Even though I belong to the world-".
I invite all my colleagues to come and meet the minister of state in the Commonwealth Room after Question Period this afternoon.
Benvidou ao Canada!