PRIME Minister Stephen Harper on issued the following statement to mark the celebration of Vaisakhi:
“Laureen and I would like to extend our warmest wishes to the Sikh community and all those celebrating Vaisakhi, both in Canada and around the world.
“Celebrated every year on April 14, Vaisakhi is one of the most important observances in the Sikh religion. It commemorates the founding of the Khalsa Sikh community in 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is also celebrated as a day of thanksgiving, and the beginning of a new year and a new harvest season in Punjab and across India.
“In Canada, family and friends gather together, attend prayer gatherings at Gurdwaras, and participate in vibrant parades, known as Nagar Kirtans.
“Canada is home to one of the largest Sikh communities outside of India. Vaisakhi provides all Canadians with an opportunity to celebrate both the festival and the invaluable contributions of the Sikh community to building our peaceful, prosperous and pluralistic country.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I wish everyone celebrating today a happy Vaisakhi.
“Vaisakhi diyian lakh lakh vadhiaan!”
OFFICIAL Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair said in his statement:
“Vahiguru Ji Ka Khalsa! Vahiguru Ji Ki Fateh!
“On behalf of New Democrats, I would like to wish all Sikh Canadians a joyous Vaisakhi.
“Vaisakhi marks the anniversary of the foundation of the Khalsa Panth by Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the mother of the Khalsa Mata Sahib Kaur Ji.
“The goals of equality, justice and peace pursued by the Sikh community enrich Canada every day. We are proud to celebrate the important contributions and rich cultural heritage of this community.
“Once again, I wish you a very happy Vaisakhi.”
FEDERAL Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau said in his statement:
“Hundreds of thousands of Canadians will join Sikhs around the world in celebrating Vaisakhi, the holiest celebration in the Sikh faith.
“As Canadian Sikhs gather with their loved ones to mark the creation of the Khalsa, we take this opportunity to reflect on the valuable contributions they have made to our national fabric.
“I am very honoured to be joining the Sikh community today at a number of events in the Greater Toronto Area, including touring the Peel Art Gallery’s ‘The Spirit of the Sikhs’ exhibit, as well as Seva Food Bank and the Sikh Heritage Museum. Places like these provide all Canadians with the opportunity to learn more about the Sikh community, and stand as further proof that our country is strong not in spite of our differences, but precisely because of them.
“On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary Caucus, my family and I extend our very best wishes for happiness, good health and prosperity on this Vaisakhi.”