Mr. Speaker, 1996 marks the 50th anniversary of the Fédération des caisses populaires de l'Ontario. Over the years, the francophone community of Ontario has built its own network of credit unions. Today, the federation has 42 branches and 65 outlets to serve its members. Some 200,000 Franco-Ontarians have joined the co-operative movement and the network as a whole administers total assets of $1.6 billion.
The members of the caisse populaires have obviously created a powerful development tool that reflects their dreams and aspirations. Throughout the year, several cultural, co-operative and community activities organized in partnership with local organizations will mark the federation's 50th anniversary. This is a fine example of the vitality of Ontario's many francophone communities.