Mr. Speaker, 30 years ago today, the communist government of the People's Republic of Poland imposed martial law on its citizens in an attempt to crush the Solidarity trade union and political opposition. Tanks filled the streets, borders were sealed, hospitals, power stations and coal mines were placed under military control.
I was living in Poland at that time and as a young mining engineer, I joined my workers to strike at the Silesia coal mine. Confrontations with riot police resulted in over 100 deaths, mainly during protests in Gdansk the Wujek coal mines. Polish people were bent but not broken. Their determination and perseverance changed Poland and all Soviet controlled countries in Europe.
Now Poland is free, democratic and highly recognized in the international community. Today we pay tribute and remember those who sacrificed so much to fight for democracy and freedom.
As Canadians, we should always show support for seekers of liberty, human rights and democracy.