Mr. Speaker, I was born in Montreal, and even though I come from an anglophone family my parents wanted me to learn French, so they sent me to a French school.
Then, when we moved to Toronto, my parents insisted that I continue my studies in French. I went to the only French-language public high school in the greater Toronto area, the École secondaire Étienne-Brûlé, which opened its doors after a long battle fought by the Franco-Ontarian community. Construction was completed in 1973, three years before I began going to school there.
In my day, students came from Oshawa, Burlington, Orangeville and other communities. We were a proud mix of ethnic groups, which was clearly reflected in our school's motto, “unity in diversity”. We were all proud to be Franco-Ontarians.