Mr. Speaker, on this day, a century ago, Canada was in the middle of an election campaign. On May 1, 1896, Wilfrid Laurier was campaigning to become the first French Canadian Prime Minister from Quebec.
And what a campaign it was. Everywhere he went, he attracted flocks of people, unleashing their enthusiasm.
Laurier used to say: "I am of French origin and proud to be; knowing my Anglo-Saxon fellow citizens as well as I do, I have no doubt that, were my heart not filled with pride for my origin, they would just look down on me with scorn, and I would deserve it". And he added: "I have no intention of losing sight of my origin but I am, first and foremost, a Canadian".
That said, I tip my hat to Sheila Copps for her courage; she has not lost sight of her origins either and she is, first and foremost, a great Canadian.