Mr. Speaker, today I rise to speak to you about the 175th anniversary of the kingdom of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. When I think of my region, I immediately think of the silvery cross in the centre of our region's flag. To me, that cross symbolizes Arvida. It symbolizes the strength and determination of the aluminum workers who developed the industry.
The heart of our 175 years of history is this labour town, which took its name from the initials of Arthur Vining Davis. The town was built in just 135 days to meet the needs of Alcoa, and it did not take long to figure prominently in the history of both the region and the world. As early as 1942, the remarkable work of the employees at the largest aluminum smelter in the world enabled Arvida to support the war effort.
These days, it is our architecture and urban planning that have become world-renowned. In 2012, Arvida was recognized as a national historic site of Canada, the first step towards having the Sainte-Thérèse neighbourhood recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.
As a proud resident of Arvida myself, it is with great pleasure that I wish everyone there a happy 175th anniversary.