Mr. Speaker, Thursday, March 20 is the Journée internationale de la francophonie. Since 1970, Canada has been a world leader in promoting la francophonie and a founding member of the Agence de coopération culturelle et technique.
Canada holds an enviable position as a member of the major organizations of the international community. Its linguistic duality and cultural richness make it a partner that is in demand in la francophonie, a network of 49 countries and governments that has in common the use of French.
Belonging to la francophonie also means showing the rest of the world the essence of our Canadian culture and giving 8.5 million French-speaking Canadians a chance to reach out to the rest of the world and to exert their influence in many countries.
Happy Journée internationale de la francophonie to all francophones and francophiles in Canada.