Mr. Speaker, today, we are celebrating the International Day of La Francophonie.
French is a noble language with a rich vocabulary, and its complexity is living proof of its strength and history. Let us not forget that French is the language of Molière, Voltaire, Montesquieu and Georges-Étienne Cartier. The International Day of La Francophonie is an important one, not only for the international community, but also for our great bilingual federation, Canada.
As Prime Minister Harper always said, Canada, as a political entity, was first founded by French speakers. Today, over 11 million francophones are living and thriving in our magnificent country. Over 300 million people around the world speak French and that number will grow to over 700 million by 2050.
It is important to point out that Canada is the one that pushed the French government to establish the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie in the 1970s. We are one of the organization's founding members, and we must continue to play a leadership role in that organization in the coming years. Long live the Francophonie.