Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, it’s great to be back.
Honourable senators, yesterday Canadian Ismaili Muslims and Muslims from the Persian, Central Asian, Syrian and other communities celebrated the festival of Navroz. Navroz marks the beginning of a new year and the first day of Spring. More generally, it signifies a time of spiritual renewal and physical rejuvenation, as well as the spirit of gratitude for blessings and an outlook of hope and optimism toward the future.
On March 21, to commemorate this joyous occasion, Prime Minister Trudeau was at the Ismaili Centre in Toronto. Prime Minister Trudeau spoke of the contributions of the Ismaili community to Canada. His sincere words truly touched the Ismaili community members. The Navroz event took place at the Ismaili Centre in Toronto, which is part of the network of centres located in Vancouver, London, Lisbon, Dubai and Dushanbe which host programs that stimulate the intellect, encourage dialogue and celebrate cultural diversity.
The cultural diversity on display at the centre was pluralism in action and was a small reflection of the wider Canadian community. The celebration was a showcase of Canadians from different backgrounds and cultures coming together to commemorate different traditions. It is this pluralism that defines Canada and makes us a strong country.
Honourable senators I would like to end by quoting the words of President Talib of the Ismaili National Council who spoke yesterday at the event.
Over the course of its history, Canada has been a fertile country of opportunity. It has encouraged people from all walks of life to plant strong roots for themselves and their families while being caringly nourished by a kind and generous Canadian spirit. Rooted in common values of compassion, pluralism and respect for each other, we have blossomed.
Honourable senators, happy Navroz to all of you and a happy new year.