Mr. Speaker, 120 years ago the first immigrants from Ukraine landed in Halifax, having endured weeks at sea on the first leg of their epic journey, migrating to begin a new life in the wilds of the Canadian prairies, the untamed wilderness and unbroken land then called the Northwest Territories.
With herculean effort and indomitable pioneer spirit they persevered, cleared land, seeded crops and built their first homes from the very sod of the land they cleared. Families grew, churches were built and communities prospered.
Today we celebrate Ukrainian Day on Parliament Hill and celebrate the heritage of those early pioneers, people of resolute, determined will like my wife's great-grandfather, John P. Taschuk, who arrived with his wife Barbara and their two sons, Elia and Theodosie.
The 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian ancestry today celebrate the legacy of those first Ukrainian pioneers and the trek that began 120 years ago.
[Member spoke in Ukrainian]