Bill 23 2005
An Act to proclaim
a day and a month
Hellenic heritage in Ontario
The Hellenes, the Greeks of today, are the proud descendants of a culture that originated in the glorious civilization of ancient Hellas. Many of the ideas, ideals and institutions upon which modern civilization is based, such as freedom and democracy, were first developed by the ancient Greeks.
Born in a land of limited resources, Greeks have perennially been a people on the move. From antiquity onward as seafarers, merchants and settlers, Greeks have migrated to all corners of the globe. Emigration to Canada, however, has been a more recent phenomenon. Attracted by its democratic institutions and economic opportunities, Canada became a natural country of choice. Though Greek emigration began over 125 years ago, the vast majority of Greek immigrants came to Canada since 1950. Today, over 100,000 people of Hellenic descent thrive in Ontario.
Those that came seeking a better future opened restaurants, hotels, theatres, shoeshine parlours, farms and recreation clubs. One of the oldest Greek institutions, the Greek coffee house was also transplanted to their adopted country. Others, working in factories and construction, helped build this great province.
Ontario citizens of Greek descent continue to make significant contributions to the economic and cultural growth of Ontario and Canada as engineers, economists, lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, artists and business managers and numerous other lines of work. The Greek Canadian community in Ontario is a vibrant one and continues to make many significant contributions to our society and to enrich the Canadian mosaic with its traditions, history, language, culture, commerce and public service across this province.
The month of March and the day of March 25, in particular, have traditionally been a great time of celebration by the Greek community. March 25 commemorates the anniversary of the commencement of the Greek War of Independence 181 years ago that resulted in the birth of the modern Greek state.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Hellenic Heritage Day
1. March 25 in each year is proclaimed as Hellenic Heritage Day.
Hellenic History and Heritage Month
2. The month of March in each year is proclaimed as Hellenic History and Heritage Month.
3. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
4. The short title of this Act is the Celebration of Hellenic Heritage Act, 2005.
The Bill proclaims March 25 in each year as Hellenic Heritage Day and the month of March in each year as Hellenic History and Heritage Month.