May 6th, 2015

Canadian Member of Parliament, Peter Stoffer Knighted by the Netherlands

Peter Stoffer, MP (Sackville-Eastern Shore) today received the Dutch honour Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau. The prestigious decoration is bestowed by the King of the Netherlands on persons who have rendered outstanding service to society.

Peter Stoffer was born in Heerlen, Limburg on January 6, 1956 and emigrated to Canada with his family as a young child that same year. Following a successful career in the airline industry, Peter ran and was elected to the House of Commons in 1997 and has been re-elected in the subsequent five national elections.

Having grown up in the shadow of WWII and the knowledge of the role that Canadian service men and women played in the liberation of the Netherlands in1945, Peter has become a leading advocate on behalf of Canada’s veterans, their well-being, recognition and respect.

Over the years, as a great promoter of the Dutch and Canadian cultures, Peter initiated a Canada-Netherlands Parliamentary Friendship Group; introduced an Act respecting the friendship between Canada and the Netherlands (Maple Leaf & Tulip Private Members Bill) and helped to establish a permanent memorial to Canadian veterans of the Dutch liberation at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 - located on the Halifax waterfront.

The award was announced as Canada and its Second World War allies celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Victory in Europe, adding further significance to the honour.

As an advocate of everything Dutch, Peter has been involved in the liberation festivities and initiatives such as King’s Day and Sinterklaas. Working with trade missions, activities with the Embassy, or informing other members of the House of Commons, Peter works to strengthen the connection between Canada and the Netherlands.

“This is an incredible honour given to a noble and humble man,” said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. “Peter is really proud of his Dutch roots. He is a respected parliamentarian who has committed his life to defending veterans and their families. He has mentored an entire generation of New Democrats to get involved into politics by showing that when you care, you can move mountains.”

The Order of Orange-Nassau bears the hyphenated name used by the Royal Family of the Netherlands since the sixteenth century. Decorations can be bestowed on Dutch citizens and foreign nationals living anywhere in the world.