Ottawa, Ontario — The Canadian Parliament passed motion M-24 recognizing January of each year as Tamil Heritage Month with all party support. The Private Member’s Motion put forth by Gary Anandasangaree, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park, was debated on May 20th, and September 29th, 2016 and passed today. During both days of the debate, Members of Parliament from all the major political parties spoke in favour of the motion, highlighting the contributions made by the Tamil-Canadian community across Canada.
The motion recognizes “that, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize the contributions that Tamil-Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of the Tamil language and culture, and the importance of educating and reflecting upon Tamil heritage for future generations by declaring January, every year, Tamil Heritage Month.”
“This is a historical milestone that recognizes the incredible contributions of Tamil-Canadians to our society and the richness of the language, heritage and culture from coast to coast to coast” stated Gary Anandasangaree, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park.
Bill Blair, the Liberal MP from Scarborough-Southwest, took the opportunity to highlight the many municipalities such as Mississauga, Durham, Ottawa, Toronto, Markham, Ajax and Pickering – in addition to the Toronto District School Board and Province of Ontario – that have already declared January as Tamil Heritage Month. “This, in no small part, speaks to the invaluable contributions the Tamil community continues to make in virtually every sector of our economy, every field of endeavour.”
Members from the other side of the House were equally supportive and eloquent about the significance of this motion. During his speech, Bob Saroya, Conservative Member of Parliament for Markham-Unionville concluded that this motion “would provide an opportunity to showcase and share the Tamil community’s vibrant culture, traditions, and long-standing history with fellow Canadians.” New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, Jenny Kwan, said supporting this motion was another step in recognizing “that Canada is strengthened by diversity.”
“Passing this motion crossed partisan lines and is a result of the collective advocacy and contributions of many organizations, community leaders and politicians of all stripes and all levels of government throughout the years. It is a testament to our collective and united effort in achieving this important goal” concluded Gary Anandasangaree.
Festivities to celebrate the inaugural Tamil Heritage Month across Canada will commence in January 2017, which coincides with the Canada 150 celebration.
Source: Gary Anandasangaree press release