TORONTO: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper greeted Indo-Canadians on Diwali, saying, “Laureen and I would like to extend our best wishes to all those in Canada and abroad celebrating Diwali – the Festival of Lights.’’
Harper said, “As we saw all across India last week, Diwali is a time for celebrating the triumph of good over evil and of light over darkness. It is also a time to count blessings and to reach out to those in need. It is our hope that those marking this special occasion with their loved ones find truth, enlightenment, peace and prosperity.
“Happy Diwali! Namaste.”
Immigration minister Jason Kenney said, “Today is one of the most important Hindu holidays of the year – Diwali. Known as the Festival of Lights, this five-day festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, and light over darkness. Oil lanterns, known as diyas, will be lit as pathways to wealth, prosperity, knowledge and new beginnings.
The minister said, “Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs also celebrate this joyous holiday in Canada and around the world. Diwali brings Canadians of different faiths and cultural communities together to celebrate the message of peace and prosperity through gift-giving, light displays and sharing traditional foods. By bringing together people of all backgrounds, Diwali is a celebration that serves to strengthen both our communities and our country.’’
Kenney added, “As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Diwali and to encourage all Canadians to learn about the Festival of Lights.’’
Opposition leader Tom Mulcair of the NDP said, “On behalf of Canada’s New Democrats, I would like to extend my warmest wishes to all Canadians celebrating Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas. May the festival of lights bring you joy, good health, prosperity and peace. Let us celebrate the hope and strength that make us who we are, and let us work together to build a better world for all.”