Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize Italian Day on the Hill. In my riding of Kingston and the Islands, we have a thriving Italian Canadian community, and I am happy to welcome 30 members of the Italo-Canadian Club of Kingston here on the Hill to help celebrate.
It is a challenge to move to a new country where one does not know the language, especially when one is only nine years old. This was the story of my mother, Assunta Garofalo, who moved from Italy to Kingston with her six siblings and parents in 1956. In fact, around that time, nearly 1,500 Italians did the same, further enriching the culture of Kingston. They started businesses, worked long hours, and showcased their resilience to make their community among the best places to live in Canada.
The Italo-Canadian Club of Kingston was formed to celebrate the richness of the Italian culture and has been a staple in my riding for over 50 years, welcoming people from all backgrounds. Today I am proud to stand in this place and recognize my Italian heritage.