Mr. Speaker, founded in 1905, the Sons of Italy have been a vital cog in the Canadian dynamic. Several chapters are in Ottawa today from disparate parts of the country to celebrate the achievements of Canada and to recognize the participation of Italian Canadians in the development of the country.
Italian adventurers and entrepreneurs accompanied voyageurs in the 17th century, fought alongside Montcalm and Vaudreuil in the 18th century, and in the 19th and 20th century Italian Canadian settlers immersed themselves in the agricultural, mining, forestry and transportation industries in emerging Vancouver, Trail, Canmore, Calgary, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Sydney and elsewhere.
Their descendants have become respected entrepreneurs, professionals, academics, jurists, doctors, politicians—leaders in strengthening the fabric of Canadian society. Their Canadian experience has always been marked by a sense of personal responsibility, sacrifice, self-reliance and civic duty, no matter the challenge or the hostility.
I join all colleagues today in saluting the representatives of the Sons of Italy, some of Canada's most valuable, dedicated and energetic pioneers.