Gravelle Tables Bill Making Saint Jean Baptiste A National Holiday

June 23rd, 2011 - 6:22pm

Ottawa, ON – Today, on the eve of Quebec’s Fête Nationale, Nickel Belt MP, Claude Gravelle re-tabled his legislation that would make St. Jean the Baptist Day, a national holiday.

“I am honoured to table this bill. As a Franco-Ontarian, my family and I have always celebrated this important holiday,” said Gravelle. “French Canadians from across the country have also expressed support for this important holiday.”

“Northern Ontarians understand the importance of this holiday,” added Gravelle. “It is only fitting that Francophones across the country have an opportunity to formally mark St. Jean the Baptist Day in their own communities.”

“I am pleased to support this bill,” said France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt. “We all understand the rich diversity of la Francophonie. This bill would provide an opportunity for all Ontarians from every language and heritage, to come together and celebrate a French Canadian Holiday."

“I hope that the federal government would make this bill their own,” said Gravelle.

June 24 started as a day of feasting linked to the summer solstice. It eventually became St. John the Baptist feast, a day in honour of the man (now a Saint) who baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. Celebrated by the French colonists who introduced the tradition to North America, it has evolved into a secular celebration of French-Canadian patriotism. Today, La St-Jean is French Canada's national day.