Happy Portugal Day! Feliz Dia de Portugal!

Today I was pleased to rise in the House of Commons to recognize Portugal Day. I’m proud to live in and represent a riding with such a strong and vibrant Portuguese community!

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Today is Portugal Day, when Portuguese communities around the world commemorate the death of Luís de Camões, the author of Os Lusiadas, Portugal’s national poem celebrating Portuguese history and achievements. Camoes captured the sentiment of the Age of Discovery, when Portuguese explorers led the world in mapping the coasts of Africa, Asia and Brazil.

In Toronto, over 200 000 Portuguese-Canadians celebrate Portugal Day with a week-long festival in Little Portugal. Portuguese immigrants have helped to build strong communities and successful businesses throughout Canada.

The highest per capita Portuguese immigrant population is in my riding of Kingston and the Islands. Centered around Nossa Senhora de Fátima and the Portuguese Cultural Centre, the Portuguese immigrant story is an important part of Kingston’s history.

In 2010, the Portuguese Cultural Centre hosted World Cup games, drawing soccer fans from all over. I look forward to World Cup excitement and Portugal’s first game next Monday!

Boa sorte e feliz Dia de Portugal!

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