MONTREAL, April 22 /CNW Telbec/ - On March 23, 2009 the National Canadian
Italian Congress issued a press release in which they stated that the minister
of immigration, citizenship and multiculturalism was shamefully attempting to
divide and conquer the Italian Canadian community by bypassing what it called
the "legitimate community organizations." That claim of legitimate community
organizations was spelled out as consisting of itself, the National Federation
of Canadian Italian Business and Professional Associations, the Order Sons of
Italy and the "Fondation communautaire canadienne-italienne."
It furthermore accuses the present government of setting up an advisory
board consisting of people who do not represent the community and who cannot
pretend to give advice on behalf of our community, an action which it
qualifies as repugnant, divisive and insulting because it involves people who
are not, unlike itself "legitimate representatives".
With respect to the president of the NCIC and his board of directors, the
NCIC should not have spoken on behalf of the National Federation of Canadian
Italian Business and Professional Associations nor should it have created the
impression that we four consider ourselves as legitimate representatives in
exclusion of the many other organizations of Italian Canadians, each of whom
perform valued functions within our community and represent important facets
of our communities dynamics. We formally disassociate ourselves from such
comments and welcome a broader consultative approach with many of our
community's stakeholders, especially on an issue that is so near and dear to
CIBPA organizations throughout Canada.
Particularly disturbing is the NCIC characterization as to the nature of
the ACE Program, a program portrayed as a settlement of the entire internment
tragedy as well as for the damage suffered by the community. At no point was
the ACE program supposed to represent any settlement of the issue. Nor, to
quote their press release, was the ACE program supposed to be "a fair and
equitable resolution on the issue of redress for the internment of Italian
Canadians during World War II."
The agreement in fact stated the following:
"This Agreement-in-Principle shall not be interpreted as a full and
final agreement nor as constituting an admission by the Government of
Canada of the existence of any legal obligation of the Government of
Canada nor as foregoing/limiting any person(s) right to advance or
initiate an action/claim against the Government of Canada, nor shall
this Agreement-in-Principle be interpreted by any of the signatories
as representing the interests of all Italian Canadians."
The National Federation of CIBPA would like to call upon Parliamentarians
presently considering Bill C-302 which is presently at committee stage, to
call for public consultations so that our members of Parliament can hear from
our community on an issue which is very near and dear to many and which our
parliamentarians may not have been offered the full picture of what we feel
the unintended impact Bill C 302 may have, as presently drafted.
For further information:
For further information: Niva Segatto, Executive Assistant, (519)
564-5700 on behalf of Frank Moceri, President of National Federation of CIBPA;
Luisa Papa, (514) 254-4929