Mr. Speaker, June 2 was the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the Italian Republic. On June 2, 1946, in fact, as a result of a referendum held throughout Italy, the monarchy was replaced by a republic.
This marked the end of a war Italy had lost and which had destroyed one of the most magnificent countries in the world, but also the beginning of a new area for Italy, during which, thanks to a lot of hard work, perseverance and joie de vivre, Italians helped rebuild their country, which has now become one of the seven major world powers.
Italians had to struggle to get out of the depression. Many had to leave Italy to look for a better country which could give them a new beginning, a new life for them and for their families.
Canada was one of those countries. Italians found their promised land here. They were well accepted and were given an opportunity to provide for themselves and for those who depended on them.
Today I would like to pay tribute to all those Italians who dared cross the ocean, and to Canada for giving them a new home. I am sure that my numerous Italian Canadian colleagues sitting in the House with me feel the same pride I feel as a Canadian with roots in Italy. I invite all to join us to celebrate this important day.