Mr. Speaker, next week we will celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the national day of the Irish people.
Quebeckers of Irish descent make up the second-largest cultural community, after those of French descent. It is estimated that up to 40% of Quebeckers have Irish ancestors. The first Irish arrived in North America in the 16th century, but the majority immigrated in the 19th century, during the potato famine.
The oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in North America takes place each year in Montreal, Quebec. Year after year, hundreds of thousands of people join in the fun.
On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, as someone of Irish ancestry on my mother's side, I would like to wish all Quebeckers of Irish descent a happy St. Patrick's Day.