Hon. Rochelle Squires (Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage):
I rise today to recognize and celebrate United Empire Loyalists Day, which will officially be commemorated on June 12th by the Manitoba branch of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada. As you are well aware, in the wake of Britain's loss of the Thirteen Colonies in 1783, approximately 50,000 United Empire Loyalists, committed to the 2690 LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF MANITOBA June 1, 2017 British Crown, became displaced. These proud loyalists resettled in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and profoundly contributed to the development of Canada. Shortly after Manitoba joined Confederation in 1870, many of the United Empire Loyalist settlers from Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes immigrated to Manitoba.
These Loyalists were truly a diverse group, which included English, Dutch, German, French Huguenot, First Nations, Scottish and African Loyalist settlers who established businesses, farms and continued to engage in their professions. These early entrepreneurs and innovators brought with them many skills and professions. There were shipwrights, cabinetmakers, saddle makers, teachers, lawyers and farmers, and they established businesses and continued to engage in their professions upon arriving in Canada.
Today, we are reminded of the spirit of these early pioneers who, because of their loyalty to the British Crown, sacrificed their lives, homes and professions to migrate to a new land with hopes of building a new life for themselves and their descendants. Their commitment contributed to the development of Canada, and descendants of the United Empire Loyalists continue to contribute to the dynamic and diverse province that Manitoba is today. It is our privilege to live in a province where we can honour the customs and traditions that our ancestors brought from our homeland. By sharing them with each other, we foster mutual understanding and respect that allows us to transcend differences of race, religion, age or culture.
The United Empire Loyalists' legacy of inclusivity, perseverance and resilience forged a pathway towards multiculturalism. This year, 2017, is the 25th anniversary of the Manitoba's multicultural act and recognizes and promotes the strength of pride, of cultural diversity and the rights of all Manitobans, regardless of their culture, religion or racial background. Madam Speaker, multicultural celebrations contribute to building our province into a distinct multicultural mosaic where we can all honour our customs and traditions and share them with others. By honouring our past, we inform our future.
I encourage all Manitobans to join celebrations to acknowledge the United Empire Loyalists Day in Manitoba on June 12th, 2017, and I ask that all members of the House now join me in welcoming the two chapters of the United Empire Loyalists that are present in the gallery this afternoon.