Mr. Speaker, on January 1, 1804, the Republic of Haiti was born. A few months earlier, on May 18, 1803, Haiti adopted a revolutionary flag, which has been the pride of the Haitian people ever since.
Every year, May 18 marks Haiti's anniversary of becoming the first republic in the world to be created out of a slave rebellion. I would like to express the importance of this day to the Haitian diaspora in Canada, especially in the national capital region.
Canadians of Haitian origin have been settling on both sides of the Ottawa River for a long time. Today, Ottawa's Haitian community is more than 20,000 strong. The Haitian diaspora contributes to all sectors of activity, with a notable presence in education, culture, health and law.
On this May 18, 2012, let us celebrate the rich contribution that Canadians of Haitian origin have made to Canada's success.