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Laurier House National Historic Site Gifted Bust on the 174th Anniversary of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Birth
November 20, 2015 Ottawa, Ontario Parks Canada Agency
Today, Parks Canada accepted a bronze bust of Sir Wilfrid Laurier generously donated by the Trutiak Family, with the support of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund and the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation. The donation was made at a ceremony at Laurier House National Historic Site on the 174th anniversary of Laurier’s birth.
Former Prime Minister Laurier was a strong supporter of immigration and personal liberty for all Canadians. During the First World War, many Eastern Europeans, including Ukrainian Canadians, were denied the right to vote and some were even displaced into internment camps.
On September 10, 1917, during debate of the Wartime Elections Act, Sir Wilfrid Laurier rose in Parliament and presented an impassioned speech defending the rights of all Canadians to be protected under the British Constitution. Today’s donation to Laurier House National Historic Site recognizes Laurier’s actions in the House of Commons and is a fitting tribute for one of our greatest Canadians.
- Between 1897 and 1914 over 3 million immigrants from Great Britain, Poland, Russia, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Slavic countries and the Ukraine arrived in Canada. The population of the country increased by 40 percent over this short period of time.
- Sir Wilfrid Laurier was Prime Minister from 1896-1911.
- Under Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada expanded in territory as well as in population. The Yukon was added to Canada in 1898 and Saskatchewan and Alberta became provinces in 1905.
“While Laurier was not successful in his protest of the War Time Elections Act, he took an unpopular stance in the House of Commons because it was the right thing to do and did so during a time of war and domestic crisis. For that we are honouring him with this bust and plaque, recognizing the principled position he took in defence of the civil liberties. Laurier's words bear remembering, for their currency remains valid to this day.”
Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation
“Parks Canada is very honoured to receive this donation from the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation's Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund. Laurier is widely regarded as one of Canada’s greatest Prime Ministers, and this addition to Laurier House’s collection provides an opportunity to highlight another aspect of his legacy to visitors.”
Katherine Patterson, Field Unit Superintendent, Georgian Bay and Ontario East, Parks Canada
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External Relations Manager
Georgian Bay and Ontario East Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency
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