RT HON. JUSTIN TRUDEAU: Namaste. CROWD: Namaste. RT HON. JUSTIN TRUDEAU: Sat Sri Akal CROWD: Sat Sri Akal. RT HON. JUSTIN TRUDEAU: And thank you Kavita
(ph) for that kind introduction and thanks to all of you for being here this evening.
It’s wonderful to see so many friends here tonight. And among those friends are extraordinary
caucus members. How about a big round of applause for them?
(Cheers & applause) A number of them are of Indian descent but many others represent cities, towns and neighbourhoods, like my own riding of Papineau. Who’s here
from Papineau? Great to… (Cheers from crowd)
There you go. My gang! That have strong and vibrant Indian communities.
We have so many of those MPs here tonight that I can’t name them all, but I tell you,
that’s a problem that I’m delighted to have. I do want to acknowledge four of our ministers who are here this evening though. Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains. (Cheers & applause) Our Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan. (Cheers & applause) And from Edmonton, our Minister of Infrastructure
and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi. (Cheers & applause) And someone well-known to the entrepreneurs in this room, our Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Government House Leader, Bardish Chagger. (Cheers & applause) There we are. (Cheers & applause) Why is it always the women who
dress up so beautifully and I’m the only guy, with (inaudible) who dresses up appropriately?
Thank you so much. On this very special evening, I want to welcome India’s High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Vikas Swarup. Thank you very much
for being here High Commissioner. (Applause) Diwali is a celebration that is centuries old, yet still manages to speak so clearly to
modern times. The triumph of light over darkness, of good over evil. The power of knowledge
to help dispel ignorance and despair. These are things that the world needs now
perhaps more than ever before. So it is an honour for me to participate in this celebration. A celebration that brings together people from a host of communities looking to build
a more peaceful and prosperous world. It is a celebration that has a special significance
this year – in the 150th year of Confederation and this 35th anniversary of the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is not only Canada’s 150th birthday and the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but it’s also the 10th anniversary of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir which I had the pleasure of visiting
this past July. I know so many members from the GTA come here. (Applause) So, for so many people leaving our largest
airport, that magnificent building is one of the very first sights they see, and I think
that speaks volumes about Canada and about its strong and vibrant Hindu community. And now, thanks to the joint efforts of Canada Post and India Post, and the two new stamps
that celebrate Diwali, people around the world will be able to see how important the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and Jain communities are here in Canada. That’s something I believe in deeply. It’s why just one week after being sworn in as
Prime Minister, I made a point of spending time at both a mandir and a gurdwara here
in Ottawa for Diwali. There are more than one million Canadians
of Indian origin living in Canada, and their contributions to our country are countless,
whether it’s starting a new business or creating jobs, helping to teach our children,
or caring for us when we are sick, the contributions that you make build stronger communities and
make Canada an even better place to call home. That’s a point I’ve made with Prime Minister
Modi on the very many occasions we’ve had to speak and spend time together, and it’s
a point worth repeating: diversity is Canada’s greatest strength.
(Cheers & applause) Thank you once again for allowing me to join
you this evening. Thank you all so much. Diwali Mubarak. Shubh Diwali!
(Cheers & applause)