November 30 now officially Scottish Heritage Day after passing of MPP McDonell’s private member’s bill

One of the bands in the 2017 Glengarry Highland Games. Zandbergen photos, Nation Valley News

TORONTO — November 30 of each year will be Scottish Heritage Day in Ontario, now that local MPP Jim McDonell’s private member’s bill has received Royal Assent.

That date corresponds with St. Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s national day.

“I believe this special day helps to commemorate the rich, multi-national fabric that so many Ontarians have come to identify with being a Canadian,” McDonell said of his bill’s coming into force on June 3. “Like many other immigrants to Canada, the Scottish people were seeking a new life after the Scottish Highland Clearance displaced many of them during the 1700s.”

S-D-SG MPP Jim McDonell. Nation Valley News file photo

“These settlers joined with fellow British countrymen who were forced from their homes in the aftermath of the American War of Independence to start new lives in Upper Canada, including here in our riding,” said the resident of Glengarry County — a place synonymous with Scottish names (like McDonell) and celebrations of Scottish heritage.

“These settlers helped lay down the foundations for the Province of Ontario, building schools to educate their children, roads, and canals to develop the economy, and new institutions of law and governance to foster a just and secure country. As with many other immigrants, Scottish forebears did not forget their past, and each year continued to celebrate … on November 30.

“Céad Míle Fáilte,” concluded McDonell, using the Gaelic words for “a thousand welcomes.”

Below, from NVN’s archives, the afternoon massed bands at the 2016 Glengarry Highland Games, a video that has reached over 500,000 people, according to Facebook.
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