PM Stephen Harper celebrates Diwali at Hindu Sabha Mandir

harper1-300x208On Saturday 18th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper along with key members of his caucus, colleagues from all levels of government, members of the diplomatic corps as well as the top spiritual and community leaders were at the Hindu Sabha Mandir, Brampton to celebrate Diwali. There was a huge turn out, hundreds of specially invited members of the community were on hand to celebrate Diwali. Unknown to many within the community, it turns out that the person responsible for putting Diwali on our national calendar is none other than Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deepak Ohbrai. If it weren’t for him…

PM Harper who spoke at length to a crowd who lapped up everything he said in rapt attention, acknowledged the role played in the development of Canada over the past century. Harper recalled fondly the event back in 2007 when he officially opened the Hindu Sabha Mandir. Over the past few weeks, the PM Harper has been paying visits to places of worship like the Gur Sikh temple in Abbotsford, British Columbi, the impressive Vishnu Mandir in Vaughan. There’s the Gur Sikh temple, the oldest standing Sikh Temple in North America, and of course, Vishnu Mandir, which I had the pleasure of visiting two weeks ago.

“Those impressive Hindu and Sikh facilities are true, visible monuments to the accomplishments and vitality of our Indo-Canadian community. Of course, in addition to building stunning temples, you have also helped to build stronger cities and communities,” he said to an appreciative audience. In his address, PM Harper reminded the audience of the two trips he and wife Laureen made to India and sincerely thanked South Asians for the role played in strengthening ties between the two countries. It is no secret that ties between India and Canada have vastly improved thanks in part to the efforts made by South Asian businessmen and political leaders who’ve made some serious efforts over the years.