Categorized | Canada Day

Canada Day: Let’s Celebrate diverse Cultures

Posted on 27 June 2013 by admin

Tom Mulcair

Ottawa

Canada Day is an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the many diverse cultures and traditions that have come together to build this great country we call home. We are privileged that so many have chosen to call Canada home and we are all the better for it.

Canadians of South Asian descent have been a part of this country’s fabric since the late 1800s and have become leaders in business, academia and culture.

New Democrats and the South Asian community have enjoyed a close relationship for many years. Jack Layton and the NDP stood in solidarity with members of the community against discriminatory legislation and always supported calls for justice. Just this past year, our party launched the largest consultation with members of the Punjabi and South Asian community in our history. GTA Caucus Chair and NDP MP Andrew Cash as a result introduced a Private Members Bill for the establishment of every April as Punjabi Heritage Month while our party continues to fight for an official apology for Komagata Maru tragedy.

We are working hard every day to ensure that Canadians of all backgrounds have the tools they need to succeed. Our NDP team of hard-working MPs like Jinny Jogindera Sims and Jasbir Sandhu are committed to giving you a voice.

We are fighting for an immigration system that focuses on family reunification; gives skilled workers and graduates opportunities to use their skills; is fair and efficient, with a transparent appeals process; and provides new Canadians with settlement programs to help them succeed.

Since becoming Official Opposition leader, I have made it my priority to visit communities in every province. No leader can proclaim to represent Canadians without meeting them in their communities, listening to their hopes and understanding their challenges.

Whether you live in Vancouver, Edmonton or Toronto, our fate as Canadians is interconnected. Shared values of prosperity through honest, hard work; the importance of community and family; respect, diversity and tolerance are what unite us. Regardless of our backgrounds, we all want the opportunity to earn an honest living and provide for our families in a safe environment.

These values are in danger however, because Stephen Harper’s Conservatives do not see immigration as part of our identity and part of our strength. Instead, they view immigration as an economic tool that provides businesses with workers who will accept low wages.

Families that have waited for years to be reunited with loved ones are taking a back seat to industries that need cheap labour. Since Mr. Harper came to power, the backlog for family class immigration applications has grown by nearly 70 percent. Instead of fixing the problem, Mr. Harper’s government announced last year that no new family class applications for parents and grandparents will be accepted until November, 2013.

The NDP believes that new Canadians are vital to building our communities for generations to come. We will continue to propose practical solutions that put you and your family first. We’re building a better Canada and honouring our responsibility to leave more for the generations that follow us. You are a part of the multicultural fabric that makes Canada the envy of the world. Together we can fight for a fairer, greener, more prosperous Canada for all.

There is far more that unites us than divides us and, for that, we can all be very proud. On behalf of my family, my team and New Democrats across this country, I wish you and your family a happy Canada Day!

Tom Mulcair is Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition. 

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