On the fourth day of her visit to Canada, the Hungarian President met with the Prime Minister of Ontario, where she and Doug Ford discussed the situation of Hungarians in Canada.
Katalin Novák shared her experiences in the Hungarian diaspora communities in Toronto and spoke about the situation of Hungarian minorities in the Carpathian Basin, including the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia, which has been exacerbated by the war.
The president thanked the government and the legislature of Ontario for having enacted this year, at the initiative of the governing Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, the proclamation of October as Hungarian Heritage Month.
Monday’s meeting at the provincial Parliament building was attended by Mental Health Minister Michael Tibollo, who has been an active supporter of the Hungarian Heritage Month initiative, Hungarian-born Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, and Polish-born Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma, who emigrated to Canada with her parents as a child. Also present at the meeting was Rudy Cuzzetto, the member of the legislature who introduced the Hungarian Heritage Month Bill in the Ontario Parliament.
Novák had a discussion with Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, who said that the low tax policy has significant economic benefits and will contribute to the province’s long-term economic development.
During her visit to the provincial Parliament, Novák also paid her respects at the 1956 Freedom Fight Memorial, located at the entrance to the Parliament Chamber.
As part of the Hungarian Heritage Month, Hungarian organizations across Ontario organized a series of cultural, business, and academic events in October, which concluded with a gala evening on Saturday, at which President Novák delivered a speech.
At the event, the President said that Hungarians are loved and appreciated in the province of Ontario, and the Hungarian community here can count on Hungary as much as on Canada.
Novák stressed that it is possible to be 100 percent Hungarian and 100 percent Canadian at the same time, adding that she considers herself 100 percent president of Hungarians living in Hungary and 100 percent president of Hungarians in Canada.
Earlier on Friday, the first official day of her visit to Canada, Novák met with world famous Hungarian researcher, Katalin Karikó, who on Thursday received one of Canada’s most prestigious biomedical honors, the Gairdner Prize.
As part of her trip to Canada, the Hungarian President also attended the opening of the new church and community center of the First Hungarian Reformed Church, where she compared the relationship between Hungarians living across the border and the motherland to an umbilical cord.
Featured photo via MTI/Sándor-palota/Bartos Gyula