Mr. Speaker, yesterday thousands of Quebecers filled St. Catherine Street to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, when all Quebecers become O'Quebecers, as Cardinal Turcotte pointed out.
St. Patrick's Day is a time to remember when this community came to Quebec from its country of origin some 150 years ago to escape the potato famine. The conditions for these immigrants on board ship and subsequently in quarantine on Grosse-Île remain painful memories that testify to the courage and determination of the Irish.
In his sermon yesterday in St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was founded 150 years ago, Cardinal Daly recalled the warm welcome extended in the past by Canada's francophones who, together with the Irish already established in Montreal, worked so hard to alleviate the suffering of these Irish newcomers.
St. Patrick's Day has become a tradition in Quebec. We all celebrate this day and hope that this tradition will be maintained for many years to come.
A happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone.