Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House of Commons for my first remarks, and I would like to thank the residents of Windsor—Tecumseh for putting their trust in me to be their voice in Ottawa.
Today marks the 38th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in Poland by the communist dictatorship. Thousands of members of Solidarity, the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc, were rounded up and imprisoned. In the middle of the night, the secret police came to our door and arrested my father.
After the crackdown, Canada opened its doors to over 6,000 Polish immigrants and political refugees like my family, who contributed their skills and energy to building communities across Canada while supporting the struggle for freedom in their homeland.
Today we honour the brave spirit of the workers and members of the Solidarity movement and recognize Canada's role in providing safe harbour to those who fled communist persecution. We thank Canada. How can we ever thank Canada enough?