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Archived - Minister Kenney issues statement recognizing St. Patrick's Day
Ottawa, March 17, 2014 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on St. Patrick’s Day:
“This week, Canadians are gathering at parades and festivities across the country to commemorate the life of Saint Patrick. These events represent a wonderful opportunity to recognize the important contributions that citizens of Irish descent have made to our country.
“The Irish were among the early newcomers to arrive in Canada in the late 15th century, and the number of immigrants increased significantly over the 19th century. Many Irish immigrants have made notable contributions to the development and vitality of our country, including individuals such as Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a Father of Confederation, entrepreneur Timothy Eaton and opera singer Maureen Forrester, to name a few.
“Canada’s ties to Ireland go back generations and continue to be fostered through our various immigration programs. One example is the very popular International Experience Canada program aimed at youth, including Irish youth, under which citizens can travel and work in Canada for up to two years. In exchange, young Canadians can travel and work in Ireland. An amendment was recently signed to add two new categories to this program and increase the number of spots available in 2014.
“With over 4 million people of Irish ancestry living in Canada today, a significant portion of our country’s population is comprised of citizens who maintain vital connections to Ireland.
“As Minister for Multiculturalism, I wish all Canadians of Irish descent, and everyone else celebrating today, a happy St. Patrick’s Day.”
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