Mr. Speaker, as we approach St. Patrick's Day it provides an opportunity to recognize the immense contribution of the Irish community in Canada.
Ted McConnell, an Irish immigrant, is being honoured this year for his significant contribution to Irish-Canadian relations and his lifelong commitment to peace in Northern Ireland.
Ted was selected as this year's grand marshal for the St. Patrick's Day parade and will be honoured at the Grand Marshal's Ball on March 11 in Toronto.
Ted was born in Belfast in 1931 and immigrated to Canada in 1957. Throughout his successful career, Ted has devoted himself to enhancing Canada's relationship with his homeland.
In recognition of his efforts, Ted was selected the first honorary consul general of Ireland to Canada in 1997. He is currently Canada's representative on the International Fund for Ireland. He is also on the board of the Ireland Fund of Canada, the Canada-Ireland Chamber of Commerce and the School of Celtic Studies at St. Michael's College.
Ted was honoured in 1991 with the prestigious Order of the British Empire.
On behalf of parliament, I would like to pay tribute to this outstanding individual and to say thank you for bringing Canada and Ireland closer together.