PRIME Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday attended a fundraising dinner marking 10 years of charitable work and disaster relief by Humanity First Canada, a mission of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. All proceeds from the dinner will go towards fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The dinner took place at the Woodbine Banquet and Convention Hall in Toronto. Harper was joined by Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and Patrick Brown, MP for Barrie.
In his speech, Harper congratulated Humanity First Canada on 10 years of philanthropic endeavours around the world, including disaster relief in Haiti, Pakistan and the Philippines. He also thanked the organization for its fundraising efforts to combat the spread of Ebola in West Africa and highlighted a number of measures Canada is taking to address the outbreak, including the deployment of Canadian troops and medical personnel, the “Join the Fight Against Ebola” recruitment campaign which promotes the recruitment of Canadian healthcare workers through the Canadian Red Cross, and the stellar work being done at home on an effective vaccine. Quotes
Harper said: “It was an honour to join Humanity First Canada in celebrating 10 years of important charitable work around the world. They are a trusted partner and we recognize the important disaster relief work they have done in places like Haiti, Pakistan and the Philippines. I am pleased that they have joined international efforts to fight Ebola and that the proceeds from tonight’s dinner will go towards responding to the outbreak in West Africa. Our Government is taking a leadership role in efforts to stop the deadly virus.”
Finally, he expressed his deep appreciation to Humanity First Canada for condemning the recent deadly terrorist attacks on Canadian Armed Forces personnel and for helping counteract youth radicalization in Canada.
Harper said: “I would also like to thank Humanity First Canada for their unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attacks on Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo in October and for the steps they have taken to counteract youth radicalization in Canada. They have our respect and appreciation for helping to keep Canada the peaceful and tolerant nation we all love.”
According to the World Health Organization, as of December 2, there were 17,111 reported cases of Ebola and 6,055 reported deaths for the three most affected countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia).
Canada is a leader in fighting the Ebola virus disease and continues to contribute to the response to the outbreak in West Africa. To date, the Government of Canada has committed support to health, humanitarian and security interventions to address the spread of Ebola, as well as offered in-kind support and donations of the Canadian Ebola vaccine.
Canada’s efforts are being coordinated with the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response, and through experienced partners within the United Nations system and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Based in Vaughan, Ontario, Humanity First Canada is an international non-profit volunteer-based charitable organization providing relief and assistance to the less fortunate in Canada and across the globe to alleviate poverty and improve their quality of life.
A press statement by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community added that the fundraising dinner started with a silent prayer for the over 17,000 affected people and over 6,000 people killed due to Ebola. The special prayer was led by the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Lal Khan Malik. Malik thanked all the volunteers of Humanity First for their dedicated services and assistance in the Ebola-affected regions, and presented a $50,000 donation on the behalf of the community. The fundraising dinner also included a special presentation detailing how Canadians could make a large impact in the battle to prevent the spread of Ebola, It was presented by the President of Humanity First Canada, Dr Aslam Daud.