CANADA is officially the first country in the world to create a Sikh Heritage Month, said Surrey-Newton MP Sukh Dhaliwal on Tuesday as Bill C-376 received royal assent from Governor General Julie Payette, enshrining the story of Sikh Canadians into Canada’s history.
Dhaliwal introduced this bill in October 2017 and worked to secure unanimous support in the House of Commons where it received final passage in November 2018, as well as approval in the Senate, which happened on April 11, 2019.
“This is a proud moment for Canada. I want to thank members from all sides who supported this historic legislation, and Senator Sabi Marwah who sponsored this bill in the Senate and helped secure its passage,” said Dhaliwal.
He noted that with the passage of this bill, “Sikh Heritage Month will celebrate our shared history and build more awareness of the contributions immigrants have made to building Canada, for generations to come.”
Dhaliwal said the quick and broad support for the passage of this bill is a reminder of the respect, equality, and diversity that makes Canada so strong. “The story of Sikhs in Canada is simply the story of Canada; it will now be proudly honoured and shared,” he pointed out.
THE World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomed the royal assent to Bill-376 and noted: “Sikh Heritage Month recognizes the history and contributions of the Sikh community to Canada. During the month of April Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi and Khalsa Sirjana Divas, the day on which the Order of the Khalsa was revealed and Sikhs were given a distinct identity along with the Sikh articles of faith. Khalsa Day Parades are held in cities across Canada to commemorate the event. Sikh Heritage Month events are also held in cities and provinces across Canada through the month of April.”
WSO President Mukhbir Singh said, “Royal assent to the Sikh Heritage Month Act in Canada is a great way to conclude Sikh Heritage Month in 2019. Sikh Heritage Month provides an important opportunity for Canadian Sikhs to share and celebrate their faith and history with their neighbours. We would like to thank and congratulate MP Sukh Dhaliwal for his work in making the recognition of Sikh Heritage Month possible.”