Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, today released the following statement regarding the upcoming celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation:
“Canada’s Sesquicentennial is a historical moment for all our citizens from across the country to come together to celebrate the unforgettable moments that have shaped our country. July 1st, 2017 is also an opportunity to celebrate our common sense of Canadian nationality based on diversity. Canada was after all built in large part upon the hard work of millions of immigrants who hoped for a better life and turned their dreams into reality. Throughout its history, Canada has opened its doors to a diversity of immigrants and refugees who made the perilous journey from countries near and far – among them were the Vietnamese ‘Boat People’ refugees.
“Canada lead the world from indifference to caring by accepting more than 60,000 Vietnamese refugees known as the “Boat People” after the fall of Saigon in 1975. The years that followed marked the modern beginnings of the Vietnamese community in Canada, which has grown strong, vibrant and proud of the nation that so openly welcomed them. Since that time, Vietnamese communities across Canada have contributed to the prosperity and diversity of our nation’s cultural heritage. Thanks to the leadership and dedication of the Vietnamese Canadian Federation (VCF), community events are held in cities across Canada to promote this heritage and uphold our values of diversity, acceptance, freedom, human rights and democracy.
“This year, the VCF, along with many other community organizations, were actively involved in the Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag raising ceremonies held at Queen’s Park in Toronto and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, in honour of Journey to Freedom Day. The VCF continues to play an important role as part of the upcoming “Parade of the Nations” and the 2017 Viet Summer Festival in Toronto.
“While the exodus of the Vietnamese ‘boat people’ can be seen as the worst humanitarian crisis of the twentieth century, the Syrian refugee crisis has become the largest of the twenty-first century. As citizens of this great country, we know that there is strength in diversity, power in compassion, and virtue in protecting the freedom and dignity of every living person. The journey to freedom of the Vietnamese ‘boat people’ has inspired countless Canadians to help new refugees arriving in Canada. Vietnamese community members across Canada are now paying it forward to new Canadians by spearheading initiatives such as Lifeline Syria, to help Syrian sponsor refugee families seeking a new beginning in Canada. These proud historical events are a tribute to the strength and unity of the vibrant Vietnamese community in Canada.
“In the last 150 years, our ancestors and communities have laid the foundations of this great country with a vision of freedom, democracy and justice that is our inheritance and duty to protect. It therefore falls upon all Canadians to actively defend the same values that makes Canada a shining democratic beacon of hope, equality and peace all over the world.
“As we mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, I invite all Canadians to celebrate our long history of a united Canada, prosperous, strong and free.”
Happy Canada Day!