Elizabeth voices support for Portuguese Heritage Month

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, to my friend, the hon. member for Davenport, muito obrigada.

We are very pleased to see the bill come forward. I am happy to second it and I wanted to let the member know that the story of Portuguese Joe is one I know well. Joe Silva is very well known throughout the coast of British Columbia and his life did take a very unhappy turn. At one point, he left Stanley Park where he had been so successful, one of the early founders of Gastown. In his last days, he lived in my area on the Salish Sea on Reid Island, just off Galiano.

There is a lot of Portuguese heritage that stretches to both coasts. A lot of Portuguese explorers and colonizers were the first to reach Cape Breton and many of the place names around Cape Breton Island, where I am from, were also originally Portuguese.

I want to thank the member for this initiative. In terms of a question, I can only ask what we can do to help.

Julie Dzerowicz – Member for Davenport

Mr. Speaker, I love the story of Portuguese Joe. I love it because there is this connection between the Portuguese community and the first peoples of our country. I also love the statue. I have only seen pictures of it. I have not been blessed to see it, but I know it is a beautiful statue. It has Portuguese tile from the Azores Islands surrounding it. It also represents a special story in the history of Canada.

With respect to, having this motion pass in the House is important. Continuing to encourage the Portuguese culture to support the Portuguese communities across the country is one of the ways all of us can support the diversity of our great nation.