I would like to tell the story about my father coming to Canada in 1953. He still shares this story today with anyone who will listen.
It was in 1953, after the Second World War. It was a very desperate situation where food, fuel, and clothing were very scarce and the future looked very bleak for so many Italians at that time. CP Rail came to the small town of Savuto di Cleto.
My father and family came over in 1953. In Italy my father was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. In southern Italy there is no snow, no cold weather. They arrived in Montreal in January. They got on a train and he all he saw was snow, ice, and bush, until they arrived in this tiny little town in northern Ontario called Hornepayne. He said that when they heard about Canada, they were told it was cold but not that cold. He wondered how cold could it really could. He said that he thought they were going to heaven in Canada, but when they arrived in Hornepayne, he thought he had gone to frozen purgatory.
However, they were tough, resilient and they pushed forward and survived. They are very prosperous today. I am so proud to be the progeny and to stand in the House today to represent my Italian heritage.