Mr. Speaker, in 1936, General Franco installed a Fascist dictatorship in Spain, overturning the democratically elected Spanish Republic.
While Fascist Germany and Italy sent massive military aid to supply Franco's forces, western democracies failed to officially support the Spanish loyalists.
However, over 1,300 brave Canadians left their families and friends to travel halfway across the world to fight in the International Brigades against Franco for the causes of freedom and democracy.
If records did exist in Spain about the war, we would come across the following name: Captain Nickolaus Meyers, a Canadian whose real name was Nickolaus Myroniuk but, like many others, had to travel under an assumed name because of the opposition of their government to the war. Captain Meyers, my great uncle Nick, recently passed away, on January 21, at the age of 89.
Today I am rising in the House to pay tribute to my uncle who understood that evil cannot be escaped by ignoring it. My uncle and the many other Canadians who volunteered in an inspiring story of courage, conviction and determination, pressed forward and made sacrifices for freedom and liberty.