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Ontario Hansard - 06-October2010

Mr. Frank Klees: Ontario is the first province to officially recognize the historic and ongoing contributions to our society of Canadians of German ancestry by proclaiming the day following Thanksgiving as German Pioneers Day. This was made possible thanks to the efforts of my colleague and friend Wayne Wettlaufer, the former MPP for Kitchener Centre.

The immigration of settlers of German origin to Canada began with the coming of the first Loyalists at the end of the 18th century. In the 1820s, citizens of German origin made up a full 70% of the entire population as a true founding people of the province of Ontario. The heroic German Loyalist military unit known as the Brunswickers fought many battles in defence of Canada and most notably Quebec.

German Canadians founded Toronto and Markham and constructed Yonge Street from Toronto to Penetanguishene. Many settled in the regions of Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Woodstock and Lake Huron.

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Famous German Canadians included Fathers of Confederation William Steeves and Sir Charles Tupper; Canada's sixth Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker; and Governor General Ed Schreyer.

As a proud German Canadian, and on the 20th anniversary of German unity, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our entire German-Canadian community for its ongoing pivotal role in the historic and continuing development of Ontario, socially, culturally, economically and politically.

Happy Oktoberfest and happy German Pioneers Day.


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