moved for leave to introduce Bill C-477, An Act to recognize Pedro da Silva as Canada’s first officially commissioned letter carrier.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a bill entitled “an act to recognize Pedro da Silva as Canada's first officially commissioned letter carrier”.
The bill calls on the government to recognize the 55th anniversary of officially sponsored immigration to Canada and the many contributions made by the Portuguese-Canadian community. The bill also requests that the government take appropriate measures to designate a national park or monument in recognition of Pedro da Silva for his dedicated service as Canada's first official letter carrier.
Pedro da Silva, a Portuguese trapper and carter living in the colony of New France, was commissioned to transport letters from Quebec to Montreal in the early 1700s, a service he provided for the rest of his life. Historians also know that Portuguese descendants have had a strong presence in North America, dating back over 500 years. In fact, many names in Newfoundland have a Portuguese origin and this heritage is continuously growing from coast to coast to coast in Canada.
Canadians of Portuguese heritage have a lot of which to be proud. From world renowned artists such as Albert de Castro, Nelly Furtado, Shawn Desmond and Canadian Idol Brian Melo, to hockey players like Mike Ribeiro and to business, labour and legal professionals, the community continues to contribute to the socio-cultural fabric of our nation.
The bill bestows appropriate recognition for the contributions of the Portuguese Canadian community to Canada's development, heritage and progress.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)