Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity during Black History Month to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution that blacks make to enriching the identity of Canada, Quebec and Montreal.
I was born in the Ivory Coast to Lebanese parents. The symbolic elephant remains dear to me. Being black is not about colour; it is about belonging to an identity defined by great trials and injustices, but mostly by great accomplishments.
This is month is an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions blacks have made to humanity. Nelson Mandela was one of those exceptional people. It is high time the federal government declared a Nelson Mandela day so that future generations remember the remarkable role this man played.
I would also like to acknowledge the blacks of Ahuntsic—Cartierville, including the writer Dany Laferrière, who, a few years ago, agreed to give his grandmother's name to the Internet café at the Ahuntsic cultural centre, the Café de Da.