The Bill proclaims the month of March in each year as Hellenic Heritage Month.
Bill 77 2019
An Act to proclaim a month to celebrate Hellenic heritage in Ontario
More than 270,000 people of Hellenic descent live in Canada today and over half of them live here in Ontario. Canadians of Hellenic descent have contributed to every field of life in Ontario, have enriched our culture and have strengthened our economy. Hellenes, also known as Greeks, began to arrive in Canada in the early nineteenth century, with the vast majority coming after 1950. They have made significant contributions across many fields, including education, law, medicine, science, politics, business, sport and many more.
The history and heritage of Greece, historically known as Hellas, extends back thousands of years, with Greek cities being the first to govern themselves as democracies, a legacy that extends through history to Canada today. The heritage of philosophy and learning of Ancient Greece underpins the societies of the nations of the West as well as the Islamic world and others.
Since long before the Roman Empire, Greeks travelled and founded new communities, first around the Mediterranean, and then around the world. Greece gave the world great leaders such as Pericles and Alexander and philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The great Byzantine Empire was a Greek nation until its fall. March 25, 1821 marks the beginning of modern Greece, as Greeks declared their independence from the Ottoman Empire on that day, an anniversary that is celebrated every year as Greek Independence Day.
Thousands of Canadians visit Greece every year, enjoying the country's impressive history, culture and philoxenia. Greece today is a strong ally of Canada as a member of NATO and the two countries share strong economic ties. Canadians of Hellenic descent can be proud of their legacy of contributions to Canada and all Canadians can be proud of this legacy and owe a debt to the culture and civilization of Greece.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Hellenic Heritage Month
1 The month of March in each year is proclaimed as Hellenic Heritage Month.
2 This Act comes into force on the day is receives Royal Assent.
3 The short title of this Act is the Hellenic Heritage Month Act, 2019.