1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
Volume 150, Issue 116

Thursday, May 4, 2017
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

International Day of La Francophonie

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I recently had the privilege of attending the Francophonie celebrations in Vancouver. It goes without saying that I was very proud to attend this event to celebrate la Francophonie in my province, British Columbia. These types of celebrations are proof that la Francophonie is indeed alive and well in Canada.

I attended this event with my dear friend and staunch defender of francophone culture, Padminee Chundunsing, president of La Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique.

Rendez-vous de la Francophonie is part of the events organized every year around the world on the International Day of La Francophonie to promote the French language and its many cultural expressions.

I applaud this initiative, which not only gives French Canadians an opportunity to reconnect with their culture and their language but also gives all Canadians who want to know more the opportunity to immerse themselves in francophone culture.

The event brought together over a hundred people and more than 30 Franco-Columbian organizations.

These celebrations of the Francophonie would not have happened without the amazing work of the organizing committee, including Marc Grignon, chair of the official languages committee of the British Columbia Federal Council, and the master of ceremonies, Benjamin Stroll, executive director of RésoSanté.

I would also like to congratulate Laura Kostur, a Service Canada senior business expertise consultant who won the 2016 British Columbia Federal Council’s official languages award of excellence for her exceptional contribution to promoting official language in the province.

I wanted to bring these celebrations of the Francophonie in Vancouver to your attention today because we are the voice of this minority. It is up to us, as senators, to remember that the Francophonie is part of Canada and that it is our duty to defend its members’ rights and interests. Thank you for your attention.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!