moved for leave to introduce Bill C-634, An Act to establish Latin-American Heritage Day.
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of introducing a bill to establish Latin-American Heritage Day. As my colleagues know, I was born in South America. Latin America, in its strictest sense, refers to the parts of the Americas that were colonized by the Spanish and Portuguese. However, in a broader sense, it also covers the Caribbean, including Haiti.
Why a Latin-American heritage day? Through my work and as an immigrant, I have come to realize that the Latin-American community is a close-knit one where everyone is connected. Then there is our telltale accent.
Our presence in Canada is relatively recent. It does not go as far back as the 19th century, more like the 1960s. Although the community has not been here for three centuries, it is well integrated into Canadian society on the economic, political—I am proof of that—and cultural fronts. There are great scientists, men and women, who have worked hard in academia. These people have integrated very well into the country.
People wonder where the Latin Americans are. We are everywhere because we fully invest in our choices. We love Canada, but we also hold on to our culture and our cultural attributes. It is for all those who have given their heart to this country that I want to establish a Latin-American heritage day.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)