Mississauga Centre MPP Kusendova Celebrates Polish Constitution Day with Minister Yurek & Minister Yakabuski at Queen’s Park

Published on May 01, 2019

NEWS May 1, 2019

MISSISSAUGA — MPP for Mississauga Centre, Natalia Kusendova, hosted an evening reception marking the anniversary of the signing of the Polish Constitution. The Polish Constitution of May 3rd of 1791 was the world’s second codified constitution, and the first in Europe.

Inspired by the political and social thought of the European Enlightenment and the 1787 American Constitution, the authors of the Polish law recognized that a government should always put the needs of its people first. Traditionally, May 3rd was a national holiday in Poland until 1940. The event was banned throughout the cold war, but Poles at home and abroad would mark the holiday in their homes, and sometimes with public protests against the oppressive communist regime of the time. In a free and democratic Poland, Poles today celebrate freely with a statutory holiday and consider the Constitution of May 3rd as one of the most ground-breaking events in the history of their country. The Polish Diaspora around the world, and especially in Ontario celebrates this day with festivities, flag raisings and commemorative greetings.

The celebration of the Constitution of May 3rd is marked by Poles in Canada who represent the second largest Polish diaspora outside of Poland. Nearly 1 million people in Canada consider themselves Polish, and over 100,000 of those reside in the Greater Toronto Area. Poles in Canada have made tremendous contributions to the fields of Politics, Medicine, literature, engineering, and others. One such notable contributor to the infrastructure of Ontario was Sir Casimir Gzowski, Engr., who was responsible for the design of the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit.

“Poles outside of Poland call themselves ‘Polonia’ and we bring our national history and pride with us everywhere we go.” Said Mississauga Centre MPP and proud Polish-Canadian, Natalia Kusendova. “We are extremely proud of our contributions to democracy in Europe, and how that history has become a foundation for our actions globally. All around the world Poles stand for democracy, justice and the rule of law; because we know how hard-won those freedoms can be. Many of Poland’s democratic values are reflected in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I am proud to represent Poland today at Queen’s Park and to celebrate Polish Constitution day with my parliamentary colleagues and Ontarians of Polish Heritage.”

“The Polish community has deep roots here in Canada, and we see it in the tremendous support and recognition Polish Constitution Day receives every May 3rd,” said Minister Jeff Yurek “As a second generation Polish-Canadian, I am proud to say that the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, are values Canada shares with Poland.”

“May 3rd has become an integral part of the civic and patriotic activities for those of Polish descent in many cities around the world. As the son of Paul Yakabuski, the first MPP of Polish descent elected in Ontario, I am proud of my Polish heritage and happy to see celebrations at Queen’s Park.” Said Minister John Yakabuski.

QUICK FACTS:

  • The May 3rd Constitution of 1791 was the world’s second codified constitution.
  • Authored by King Stanisław II August, Ignacy Potocki the Grand Marshall of Lithuania, and Fr. Hugo Kołłątaj,
  • The first article of the constitution afforded a dominant status to the Roman Catholic faith, at the same time guaranteeing freedom of belief and practice to other religions.
  • Over 1,000,000 Canadians identify as Polish and the majority reside in Ontario.
  • Mississauga is home to largest Polish Diaspora community in Canada.

Media Enquiries:

Office of MPP Natalia Kusendova - natalia.kusendova@pc.ola.org