National Congress of Italian Canadians

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The National Congress of Italian Canadians is an umbrella organization that represents Italian Canadian organizations in Canada.[1] It was founded in 1974 as a successor to the Federation of Italian Canadian Associations. The congress has a federated structure with seven district organizations.[2]

Activities

Redress for internees

Since 1990, the congress has sought compensation for Italian Canadians who were interned and arrested by the Canadian government during World War II.[3] At one stage in the mid-1990s, the congress voted to drop its request for compensation and focus on clearing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police records of surviving internees; in later years, however, it resumed its efforts for compensation.[4]

Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney apologized for the internment policy in November 1990 but did not provide financial compensation.[5] In November 2005, the government of Paul Martin reached an agreement in principle with Italian community organizations, including the congress, to devote $25 million to public education and commemoration efforts.[6] Four years later, the congress accused federal citizenship and immigration minister Jason Kenney of using "divide and conquer" tactics within the Italian community in overseeing these revenues.[7]

Political activism

The congress has traditionally supported Canadian federalism. In November 1996, it joined with the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Hellenic Canadian Congress in issuing a pamphlet calling for renewed Canadian unity.[8] It has also promoted the right of Italian citizens living in Canada to participate in Italian elections.[9]

Several congress members have been active in Canadian political life, including Laureano Leone, Rosario Marchese, and Annamarie Castrilli.[10]

External links

References

  1. ^ "Dante St.: Heart of Little Italy thrives as 'a family place'," Montreal Gazette, 11 July 1987, p. 2; "Climbing the ladder of success ... and working towards a united Canada," Toronto Star, 4 June 1992, p. 8.
  2. ^ "Italian Benevolent Corp. exceeds 'wildest expectations'," Toronto Star, 4 June 1992, p. 24; Jeff Heinrich, "Italian groups set aside rivalries to promote election in homeland," Montreal Gazette, 29 April 2005, p. 6; "The NCIC appoints new members to its executive team" [press release), National Congress of Italian Canadians - Quebec Chapter, 18 April 2011, accessed 22 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Italian Canadians plan to lobby for redress," Toronto Star, 6 January 1990, p. 16.
  4. ^ "Italians drop bid for wartime compensation," Canadian Press, 28 November 1994; "Italian Canadians want apology for internment," Canadian Press, 4 March 1997.
  5. ^ Gene Allen, "Mulroney apologizes to Italian internees No financial deal pledged to victims," Globe and Mail, 5 November 1990, p. 1.
  6. ^ "Martin makes amends for 'dark chapter in our history'," Toronto Star, 13 November 2005, p. 2.
  7. ^ "The National Congress of Italian Canadians Responds to Minister Kenney's Announcement Regarding the Community Historical Recognition Program: A Shameful Attempt to Divide and Conquer" [press release], Canada NewsWire, 23 March 2009.
  8. ^ Paul Wells, "Greek, Italian and Jewish groups launch plan for united Canada," Montreal Gazette, 27 November 1996, p. 11.
  9. ^ Jeff Heinrich, "Italian groups set aside rivalries to promote election in homeland," Montreal Gazette, 29 April 2005, p. 6.
  10. ^ Hugh Winsor, "Faith in finding the ring," Globe and Mail, 30 December 1980, p. 7; "Ministers bring range of experience to cabinet," Ottawa Citizen, 2 October 1990, p. 5; "Italian Canadian group criticizes compensation plan," Toronto Star, 29 May 1993, p. 18.

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