Published on November 05, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK: November 5, 2021 – Yesterday, Etobicoke-Lakeshore PC MPP Christine Hogarth tabled legislation which, if passed, would bring long-overdue recognition of the Polish-Ontario community’s historic contribution to building our province.

Polish Heritage Month would be celebrated each May, commemorating Constitution Day in Poland – the advent of their supreme law in 1791.

“One of the reasons why I got into public life was to safeguard Ontario’s democratic spirit,” Hogarth said, in tabling An Act to proclaim the month of May as Polish Heritage Month.

“To me, there’s no better way to do that than to celebrate the ways in which our immigrant communities have enriched our province.”

“This applies especially to Polish-Ontarians, whose ancestors fought for freedom and to achieve liberty – against centuries of invasion and aggression including Nazi and Soviet occupation.”

According to the 2016 census, some 524,000 Polish Canadians call Ontario home. That is far more than any other province. Nearly 12,000 live in Hogarth’s Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding alone.

"The Polish community has contributed significantly to Ontario, its development and culture ever since the first major wave of Kashubians immigrated in 1858. The recognition of the Polish community's contributions by the Province of Ontario through Bill 18, Polish Heritage Month in May, honours this historic bond." said, Consul General of The Republic of Poland in Toronto, Magdalena Pszczolkowska.

An important aspect of fostering Ontario’s rich and diverse cultural mosaic is recognising the achievements of the communities that have come to call our province home. With this Bill, we are ensuring that the place of Poles in Ontario is both recognised and celebrated.” said, MPP for Mississauga Centre, Natalia Kusendova.

"The Canadian Polish Congress welcomes the introduction of Bill 18 in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to establish Polish Heritage Month in the Province of Ontario. As the organization representing over 1.2 million Polish Canadians across Canada - as many as half of whom live in Ontario - we are happy that the many historic and ongoing contributions of Ontarians of Polish descent will be officially recognized and celebrated each May. Thank you to MPP Christine Hogarth and MPP John Yakabuski for leading this important initiative." said the President of the Canadian Polish Congress, John J. Tomczak.

“As an active member of the Polish-Canadian Community, I strongly feel that Mrs. Hogarth's initiative is a very needed one and will be greatly appreciated by the Polish Canadians at large.” said the President of Branch 1 of Polish National Union of Canada, Bart Habrowski. 

Hogarth noted that her riding is home to several Polish Catholic churches, to Polish Cultural organization Polish National Union in Canada and even the Consulate of the Republic of Poland.

“I am very proud to bring forward this bill on behalf of the Polish-Ontarian community in my riding and indeed across Ontario,” Hogarth concluded. “It’s long past time to celebrate their resilience and love of freedom, together with their huge contributions to Ontario’s vibrant diversity and economy.”