History

The Congress was created in March of 1993, in a three day-day conference in Ottawa, Ontario, by an assembly of approximately 250 individuals and associations, from across Canada. This event was organized by a coalition of Portuguese-Canadian social service workers, business-people, students, clubs and associations, under the initiative of the Portuguese Interagency Network (a Toronto-based social service “umbrella” organization). The aim of this gathering was to initiate dialogue on the best means of addressing pressing national issues.

Purpose of the Congress

The Portuguese Canadian National Congress (the ‘Congress’) is a national organization that functions at local and national levels representing nearly 400,000 Canadians of Portuguese heritage to:

Provide a national voice to Portuguese-Canadians;

Function as a consultative body, and work with governments, communities and institutions to monitor legislation that affects our community;

Assist in the preservation and promotion of our culture;

Defend and protect the rights of Portuguese-Canadians ;

Assist Portuguese-Canadians to better participate and integrate in Canadian Society;
 
Facilitate communication and cooperation between the Portuguese communities and other ethnic groups Promote positive relations between Canada and Portugal.

Accomplishments

Past initiatives include:

Conducted the first national study of the Portuguese in Canada

Hosted national youth conferences (1997 & 2003) 

National community action project Meeting for Action/Reunir para Agir (2002-2004)

Meeting for Action Consolidation Phase Project (2005-2006)

Thinking Civically: Youth Leadership and Civic Engagement Project (2005-2007)

Parents for Student Success Project (March-September 2006)

Projects: Viva Health Project, Project Forca, Portuguese-Canadian Educators Network, Undocumented Support Network Project

Ethnoracial Home Health Care Coalition

Older Adults Diabetes in Ethno-racial Communities Project

Joint Azores/Canada Social Service Agencies Conference

50 Years Committee (coordinating celebrations of 50 years of Portuguese immigration to Canada)

Participating in the Canadian Ethnocultural Council

COPAS (Celebrating Outstanding Portuguese-Canadian Achievement Awards) Bi-annual since 2004

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