Mr. Speaker, 400 years ago, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, was celebrated in Quebec on June 24 with bonfires along the St. Lawrence River. Now a national holiday for Quebeckers of all origins, this holiday celebrates our profound attachment to the nation we are today.

For me, Quebec's national holiday has always been an important day because it celebrates the nation I chose and that welcomed me 40 years ago, when I emigrated from Chili with my mother.

This year's theme is “Vivre le Québec tissé serré”, because we are close-knit and we have witnessed the great solidarity shown by the people of Hochelaga and everywhere in Quebec. To all the organizations in my riding that delivered thousands of meals and spread goodwill among our citizens, my deepest thanks.

I enthusiastically invite you to promote this Quebec nation which, generation after generation, expresses its pride, its solidarity, and its attachment to its language and its culture, always open to the world.

I wish Quebeckers a happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day and, of course, “Go, Habs, go!”