“Millions of people of Irish descent all around the world celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.
“The Irish played an important role in our pre-Confederation history, going back as early as the 1600s. Individuals like Father of Confederation Thomas D’Arcy McGee had a great impact on our democracy and the early development of Canada.
“During the Irish potato famine in the 1800s, thousands of Irish citizens found relief from starvation on our Canadian shores. They helped to build our nation.
“Today, citizens of Irish descent continue to help shape our society and culture. Whether you are celebrating the Feast of Saint Patrick in church, watching parades or enjoying each other’s company in Irish pubs, today is a perfect opportunity for all of us to learn more about our Irish friends and neighbours.
“And on a personal note, my hundred and two year old grandmother, Teresa Brown, is fiercely patriotic and proud of her Irish heritage. So from one Irish family to another, happy Saint Patrick’s Day!”