OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, issues statement on Canadian Multicultural Day:
“Today, on Canadian Multiculturalism Day, Canadians from all across the country celebrate one of the pillars and long-lasting traditions of this country, our cultural and ethnic diversity.
“We owe our beautiful diversity to the great strength of this country, our freedom. Our long, deep, and proud tradition of freedom goes back well before the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, as perhaps seen most powerfully in Canada having been the destination of the Underground Railroad. Our freedom is the reason why so many people from all around the world come to Canada seeking to be free and to become Canadian.
“I am proud to lead the Conservative Party, a party that believes that Canada’s best characteristics are reinforced by the values of new Canadians. In fact, the very first multiculturalism act was passed under a Conservative Government led by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. New Canadians enrich our communities by bringing with them their values of entrepreneurship; sacrifice; risk-taking; individual freedoms; cultural, familial, and faith traditions; and a desire to succeed. All of these inherently conservative principles are shared amongst those who have come to Canada over the course of our history.
“From as early as 1957, Canada’s Conservatives have been proud to represent the country’s cultural breadth in Parliament. The first Chinese Canadian MP, Douglas Jung, was a Conservative, and so was the first black cabinet Minister, Lincoln Alexander; the first Filipino Canadian Senator, the Honourable Tobias Enverga; the first Korean Senator, the Honourable Yonah Martin; the first Vietnamese Senator, the Honourable Thanh Hai Ngo; the first Pakistani Senator, the Honourable Salama Ataullahjan; the first Hindu MP, Deepak Obrahi; the first Japanese MP Bev Oda; the first Inuk appointed to federal cabinet, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq; and the first turbaned Sikh appointed to federal cabinet, the Honourable Tim Uppal; among many others.
“As we prepare to celebrate Canada Day and what makes us the best country in the world, let’s reflect on our heritage of freedom that has helped to shape our nation and make it so diverse.
“On Canadian Multiculturalism Day, I encourage all Canadians to celebrate the rich and multi-faceted culture that we are blessed with in Canada.-30-