Mr. Speaker, I rise today to welcome, along with over 300,000 Canadians of Hellenic origin, His Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic on his official visit to Canada.
This is the first time since 1982 that a head of state of the Hellenic Republic has visited Canada at the invitation of the Canadian government. Canada and Greece have historically shared friendly relations founded on shared values for democratic principles, respect for human rights and international law.
One of the greatest moments in my political career was when I received, along with two colleagues of Hellenic origin, the Golden Cross of the Order of Phoenix for our contributions to promoting closer ties between our country of origin, Greece, and Canada, which with our Prime Minister, has given me the privilege of sitting in the House.
I wish to thank both the Ambassador of Greece to Canada who proposed my candidacy and the President of the Hellenic Republic, a great statesman, respected domestically and internationally, for bestowing such a great honour on the daughter of two Greek immigrants who chose what I consider to be the greatest country in the world as their second homeland.