MPP tables Scottish Heritage Day private members bill

Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell (Queen’s Park/Youtube.com)

SDSG – A bill commemorating Scottish heritage in Ontario is likely to pass this fall. Tabled by Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry member of provincial parliament, Jim McDonell, the bill will recognize St. Andrew’s Day (November 30th) as Scottish Heritage Day.

“The day is to commemorate one of the founding cultures of the province,” McDonell said. “So much of the founding fabric of this country, that set in place many of the laws and institutions we have today.”

The private members bill, known as Bill 208 Scottish Heritage Act, was tabled on September 29th and has passed first and second readings at Queen’s Park. It was referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills for further study and is expected to pass in the legislature later this year.

In his speech introducing the bill for debate, McDonell cited the history of Scottish immigrants to Canada and the notable contributions to Ontario and Canada. This included the SD&G Highlanders Regiment, which traced its origins to the War of 1812, and notable politicians Sir. John A Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada, John S. Macdonald, Ontario’s first Premier, and Tommy Douglas, who immigrated from Scotland and went on to become Premier of Saskatchewan and founder of the New Democratic Party.

“Many people of Scottish heritage have left their mark on this country we know as Canada today,” McDonell told MPPs at Queen’s Park.

If passed, the bill is the second bill commemorating Ontario heritage that originated from SDSG. McDonell’s predecessor, Jim Brownell tabled Bill 185 in 2011 that proclaimed September 28th as British Home Child Day.

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