Como Membro do Parlamento Provincial para Davenport, é uma honra representar esta próspera comunidade e estou ansiosa para comemorar com vocês ao longo deste mês.
Desde os primeiros imigrantes portugueses a Toronto, que construíram a grande parte da nossa cidade, aos jovens que ainda vêm, a trazer as suas próprias aptidões e paixões - aos filhos e netos daqueles primeiros imigrantes. Todos nós ficamos mais fortes com as suas contribuições.
Ainda não podemos estar juntos pessoalmente, mas estou muito feliz por encontrarmos tantas maneiras de celebrar esta rica cultura e herança luso-canadiana na nossa província e país.
Feliz Dia de Portugal!
From the first wave of Portuguese immigrants to Toronto, who built much of our city, to the young people who are still coming to build a home here – bringing their own unique skills and passions – to the children and grandchildren of those first immigrants. We are all made stronger by their contributions.
There is a cultural continuity that has been able to survive through the generations, especially here in Davenport. You see it in our Casas and in programs like On Your Mark, now celebrating 20 years of helping children in the community access more opportunities in schools.
Throughout the pandemic, we have seen the marvelous contributions of the Portuguese Casas and small businesses that have gone above and beyond to give back. Our whole community can take pride in our Portuguese cultural institutions, whether it is music at local clubs, the artwork through mural programs in Little Portugal or through the world-class restaurants serving traditional Portuguese food. But those businesses are at risk after a year of this pandemic. Right now they need our support more than ever - and what better time than Portugal Day to support those local businesses with take out and curbside pick up.
On Portugal Day, I also want to reaffirm my support for access to Portuguese-language mental health services. Earlier this year, we learned that the Portuguese-language mental health clinic at Toronto Western Hospital was in jeopardy. The Abrigo Centre often refers clients to this program for long term mental health support, and together we have been raising this important issue in the legislature and with the Minister of Health. The fight to maintain those services continues.
Protecting the health of our whole community means having support available when needed, in your own language, especially during a time like this. I have been pleased to support the community with a vaccine townhall in Portuguese to ensure everyone has access to clear information and that all concerns are addressed, and volunteers from my office dropped 2,000 flyers last week to promote the first Portuguese-language vaccine clinic, which was a huge success.
It is an honour to represent this thriving community and I look forward to celebrating with you all over the course of this month.
Happy Portugal Day!