Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure today to welcome Canada's major marine carriers, shippers and port organizations to Ottawa to participate in the inaugural National Marine Day.
For the first time in its long history, port and marine communities across Canada are meeting in the nation's capital to speak with one strong voice.
There are few places in this great country that are not touched by the movement of products by ships. From Vancouver to Corner Brook, Ungava Bay to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway, Canadians continue to rely on this competitive and efficient community of industries which links Canada with the global marketplace.
Through ports across this country, such as found in my own community of Thunder Bay, the marine industry is responsible for moving more than half of Canada's international cargo trade while providing direct and indirect employment to tens of thousands of Canadians.
I call upon all members and all Canadians to join with me in celebrating not only our nation's great marine past, but also its vibrant and exciting future.