Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to draw the attention of the House to Commonwealth Day.
Today's Commonwealth is home to more than 1.7 billion people in 54 countries, large and small, spread across every continent and ocean in the world.
This year's Commonwealth Day theme “Building a Commonwealth of Freedom” is about finding ways to overcome barriers to freedom, such as oppression, terrorism, hunger, poverty, disease and ignorance.
As a founding member, in 1931, Canada is one of the Commonwealth's strongest supporters and promoters. The dynamic and vibrant networks of partnerships that exist among the Commonwealth give the organization its unique strength in promoting democracy, development and cooperation.
Today is a day to mark and encourage the efforts that Commonwealth partners are making towards greater and lasting freedom for all. The Government of Canada congratulates the Commonwealth for its work.