Mr. Speaker, yesterday was St. Andrew's day. It gives me the opportunity to congratulate Scotland and the Scots on the distance they have come in recent years.
In the September 1997 referendum, the Scottish people chose to revive their parliament, which had not existed since 1707. The Parliament of Scotland opened its doors on July 1 of this year.
For the first time in centuries, the people of Scotland celebrated St. Andrew's day by putting their national pride in their own political institutions.
Throughout centuries of English domination, the Scots have kept their soul and their identity. Patiently, they awaited the hour of their rebirth. It was peaceful and democratic.
On the question of the referendum, George Reid, the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Scotland, said the following at Mont-Tremblant this October:
“Certainly the position in our country is that it would be 50% plus one, and that is clear for the British government too”.
Greetings to all our Scottish friends, for whom Quebecers feel both friendship and affection.