Mr. Speaker, today, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence from Russia in 1917, we reflect on the rich relationship Canada has with Finland and the tremendous contribution of Finnish Canadians.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Canada was one of the main beneficiaries of Finnish immigration. Finnish names are still common in the cities of Thunder Bay, Sudbury, and my hometown of Sault Ste. Marie. Today there are almost 144,000 Canadians with Finnish ancestry. Over 15,000 claim Finnish as their mother tongue. Some of them live in Suomi-Koti, a tremendous seniors' residence in Don Valley West, and worship at the Agricola Lutheran and Saalem Pentecostal churches.
We share the same values of democracy, good governance, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. More importantly, though, we share a strong passion for ice hockey and a deep friendship off the ice.
Happy Independence Day to Finland. Kiitos.