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Archived - PM announces Canada's newest national museum at Pier 21

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25 June 2009
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Pier 21 to serve as monument to the role immigrants have played in Canadian history

Historic Halifax landmark Pier 21 will be the site of Canada's newest national museum, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today. The new national museum will be dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the contributions of immigrants and new Canadians to Canada's culture, history and heritage.

"No country in the world has benefited more than Canada from free and open immigration," said the Prime Minister. "In every region and across all professions, new Canadians make major contributions to our culture, economy and way of life. It takes a special kind of person to uproot and move to a new country to ensure a better future for your family. Anybody who makes the decision to live, work and build a life in our country represents the very best of what it means to be Canadian."

Currently a national historic site, Pier 21 served as a primary gateway for immigrants to Canada from 1928 to 1971. It was the point of entry for more than a million new Canadians over that period. It was also the point of departure for 500,000 troops who fought for Canada during the Second World War. As a result, one in five Canadians can now trace a relationship to this historic site.

"The story of Pier 21 is intertwined with the story of Canada," said the Prime Minister. "Creating a national museum at Pier 21 is a fitting monument to Canada's values and the role immigrants play in our country's history."

The Government of Canada, Pier 21 Society, Pier 21 Foundation and Halifax Port Authority are partnering to support the new national museum at Pier 21. This will be just the sixth national museum in Canada and only the second national museum outside of Canada's National Capital Region.

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