Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks at a fundraiser for The Italy Earthquake Relief Fund
Grazie, cari amici. Good afternoon, everyone. Buongiorno. Thank you, Tony, for that kind introduction and to your leadership and your wonderful hosting job this afternoon.
I want to offer my own thanks as well to Sergio Marchionne for being here today and for lending his name to both this wonderful pranzo and to this important cause.
Born in Chieti, educated here in Canada and now working for Fiat Chrysler in the U.K., Sergio has the unique distinction of being one of Canada’s best imports and best exports.
Thank you, Sergio, for being here today. And I’m very glad that I could be here today as well, especially alongside my colleagues Judy, Marco, Francesco and Michael who work hard every day in their communities and up in Ottawa where they make sure that the concerns of Italian Canadians are always on our government’s radar. The relationship between Canada and Italy is a very special one.
I was very glad to have the opportunity to sit down and catch up with Prime Minister Gentiloni when he visited Ottawa last month. I think one of the reasons we felt such an immediate rapport is because our citizens have so much in common. Canada is home to just over 35 million Canadians, one and a half million of whom identify as Italian-Canadian.
And as our history has shown and as today’s event proves, when Italians have made the difficult choice to leave their homeland and settle here, we have always been the better for it.
To see the Italian Canadian community come together to support those still attempting to recover from last year’s brutal earthquakes in central Italy is inspiring. It speaks to the very values that Italians and Canadians share. The importance of family, of staying connected to our roots, of appreciating our own good fortune and giving back to our communities, of taking care of our neighbours whether they’re right next door or an ocean away.
And that’s why I'm happy not only to be able to celebrate the success of the Italy Earthquake Relief Fund but to announce the government of Canada’s intention to match your donations for this cause.
We, the Government of Canada will provide up to $2 million in matching funds.
Which will of course double the amount we can all give towards Earthquake Relief, but the final amount is up to all of you.
Today, I’m pleased to announce that the Government of Canada intends to double the contributions to the Italy relief fund. We are prepared to pay up to two million dollars in funding, matching funds. That will be double the amount that we can all give to support this cause.
And contributions are, as you all well know, greatly needed. We are proud to support the Italian Red Cross and its partner charities, including those operated by the Vatican, in their efforts to provide essential, often life-saving care to earthquake survivors.
I’m also looking forward to seeing the rebuilding efforts up close and to meeting the people of Lazio and the surrounding regions when I make a visit to Amatrice later this month.
I’ll be in Italy for a formal state visit and I'm very much looking forward to having a number of you join me on that trip as part of a business delegation organized by the Italian Chambers of Commerce of Canada and I want to be sure to make time to visit the area that has been hit so hard by earthquakes in recent months to let our friends there know that they are not alone, to show that Canada is with them standing alongside them, ready to help as they rebuild their communities and their lives because that’s what friends do.
Thank you once again for being here, for being generous, and for giving me the opportunity to share this meal with all of you. Grazie.