Bill to proclaim the month of November Lebanese Heritage Month

Bill to proclaim the month of November Lebanese Heritage Month

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December 21, 2016

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Bill 60, An Act to proclaim the month of November Lebanese Heritage Month, has passed second reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy of Ontario Legislature.

The bill was tabled by Liberal John Fraser, MPP for Ottawa South). In introducing the bill on November 17, 2016, MPP Fraser said among other things the following:

“It’s an honour and a privilege to stand here to debate Bill 60, An Act to proclaim the month of November Lebanese Heritage Month, every year. November is a significant month in the Lebanese community. Each year, Lebanese people around the world celebrate Lebanese Independence Day on November 22.

“Earlier today, in commemoration of that, we here at Queen’s Park raised the flag. I want to thank the World Lebanese Cultural Union for sponsoring that event today and for all their work…

“The riding I represent, the one I’ve lived in all my life, has I think the highest concentration of Canadians of Lebanese descent of all of Ontario. I think we’re in the top three in Canada. I certainly knew that growing up. Since I was very young, I’ve always had Lebanese neighbours and Lebanese stores and restaurants. So as I said earlier today, it’s not just part of the Lebanese culture in Ottawa South; it’s the Ottawa South culture…

“Lebanese Independence Day is a national day that marks the liberation from the French mandate over Lebanese territory… I think it’s important that we celebrate with those communities that gained their independence as a reminder to all of us that it’s something that we have to continually look at and fight for and guard against…

“Somebody told me today it was about 150,000 if you take a look at how it has spread out over time in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, because Gatineau is kind of in the National Capital Region…

“There’s a masjid in my riding, Imam Ali Masjid, which celebrates in the summer as well. They just recently built their masjid. There’s a very vibrant outward-looking community that’s quite focused on youth in the community and the needs of their seniors…

“The Lebanese Canadian community has made, and continues to make, significant contributions across this province and country. These contributions include but are not limited to the fields of science, law, politics, business and culture.

“If you look at the history of Lebanon, you see that science, culture, arts and literature are very deep and rich inside the culture, and that’s something that has been brought to our nation. They’re also traders—they’ve always been traders. So the Lebanese business community is a very vibrant community in Canada…

“Mr. Speaker, I just want to finish by saying it’s not just about Ottawa South or Ottawa; it’s about Ontario and all of Canada… It’s a big community, and it’s important for us to recognize their contribution, not just to Canada, but to the world, and to build on that rich cultural mosaic that we have by celebrating our differences, our uniqueness, our capacities.”

To read full article from CIJ News, click HERE.

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