Mr. Speaker, I rise in this House to draw attention to an unprecedented historic event for the entire Italian Canadian community.
On November 30, 2002, the Madonna della Defesa church in Montreal's Little Italy was designated a national historic site by the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
This recognition speaks not only to the importance of the role of this church for the entire community, but also to the contribution of Italian immigrants to the growth of our country. Despite all the difficulties and problems encountered, the community can be proud to have preserved this heritage for all Canadians.
Madonna della Defesa is the oldest church erected for the Italian community in Montreal. It was the gateway and the foothold for many Italians who settled in Canada.
In conclusion, designating this church a national historic site will help keep its riches in Canada and preserve the history of Italian immigrants for future generations.