Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute today to the Canadians of Bulgarian descent on the 137th anniversary of the national day of Bulgaria. It is a day that commemorates the struggle of the Bulgarian people to regain independence and sovereignty. Regaining its real sovereignty after the collapse of the communists, Bulgaria made a spectacular journey to democracy, embracing the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Canada and Bulgaria are allies in NATO. They were together in fighting the terror in Afghanistan and they share the responsibility of contributing to solving conflicts in the world and major issues in international development.
A sizeable Bulgarian community lives in Canada today, and it is successfully integrated into the Canadian way of life. It is a respectable and outstanding group within Canadian society, noteworthy for its prosperity and contribution to Canadian society. The community is also a very important bridge between Canada and Bulgaria.
I invite all hon. members to join me in congratulating Bulgaria on its national day.
God bless Canada and Bulgaria.