Ottawa, March 19, 2011 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement to recognize Canada’s Ismaili Muslim Community as it celebrates Navroz:
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend my best wishes to all members of Canada’s Ismaili Muslim community as they celebrate Navroz in the days ahead.
“Canada has benefited greatly from members of the Ismaili community who have made, and continue to make, great contributions to Canada’s heritage, culture and society.
“We have been honoured as well that the Aga Khan has chosen Ottawa as the site of the Global Centre for Pluralism and the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, and that he is establishing the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre in Toronto.
“These initiatives exemplify the vision of the Aga Khan, who has exerted a profound influence both within and far beyond his community, and has become an extraordinary example of compassion and tolerance.
“The bestowal of honourary Canadian citizenship on the Aga Khan was also a moment of great pride for Canadians. As Prime Minister Harper has said, the Aga Khan’s ‘name has become synonymous with humanitarian aid and development in countries beset by conflict and poverty. Just as importantly, he has worked tirelessly as a bridge-builder between faiths and cultures.’
“The Government of Canada continues to partner with the Aga Khan Foundation as it continues its work in places like Afghanistan for example, where it is providing development, reconstruction and humanitarian assistance to ensure a brighter future for that country.
“Navroz is a time for families to get together to celebrate new beginnings, and to be thankful for the many blessings of abundance that we all enjoy in Canada.
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I wish all members of Canada’s Ismaili Muslim community a Navroz Mubarak.”