Mr. Speaker, we will never apologize for speaking French in the House.
I want to remind my colleagues that the first French words were heard in the new continent when Jacques Cartier set foot in Gaspé and met the Mi'kmaq nation in July 1534 .
Our language is a living language here and around the world. The Francophonie has 90 member states representing 284 million individuals who speak French. French is a vibrant language, it is a beautiful language, it is our language and the language of both our ancestors and our children. It represents and defines who we are as a country.
Franco-Ontarians have been attacked by the Ford government, and the Conservatives opposite criticized my colleague yesterday for speaking French in the House.
We will never apologize for speaking French. I am proud of my language and my culture, and I am proud to be part of a government that defends the French language.