PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday issued a statement on the occasion of Vaisakhi, noting that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms “defends our individual rights and freedoms and, for Canadians of Sikh faith, ensures the Five Ks are protected.”
Trudeau said in the statement: “Today, Sikhs in Canada and around the world will celebrate Vaisakhi, the most important date in the Sikh faith.
“Vaisakhi celebrates the creation of the Khalsa – the community of baptized Sikhs – by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1699. To mark this occasion, families and friends will come together in Gurdwaras, homes, and Nagar Kirtans.
“Next week, we will mark the 36th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Just as the creation of the Khalsa defines Sikhism, the Charter defines our country. It defends our individual rights and freedoms and, for Canadians of Sikh faith, ensures the Five Ks are protected.
“Earlier this year, I visited the holiest site in the Sikh faith, Sri Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple. I had the opportunity to do seva and prepare langar for the sangat, and was deeply moved to see these teachings in practice.
“Vaisakhi is also an opportunity to honour Canada’s Sikh community – one of the largest in the world – and celebrate more than 120 years of Sikh history in Canada. Sikh Canadians have helped build our country, and continue to make invaluable contributions to our society every day.
“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish all those celebrating a joyful Vaisakhi.
“Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.”