Hello everyone, I'm Bill Blair, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
I'm very pleased to be able to deliver my remarks from my home, which is located on the traditional territory of the Mississauga of the New Credit.
In Canada, we celebrate May as Asian Heritage Month.
And this year, the theme of Asian Heritage Month is “Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve.”
Throughout the month of May, virtual activities right across Canada will honour the important contributions that people of Asian descent in Canada have made to our country's heritage and identity for centuries.
And this month is a time to reflect and celebrate the contributions that Canadians of Asian origin continue to make to our country, our growth and our prosperity.
It's also a chance to for all Canadians to learn more about the history of Asian Canadians and the contributions they have made.
Over the last two centuries, immigrants have journeyed to Canada from all areas of Asia.
They've brought to our society a rich cultural heritage, representing many languages, ethnicities and religious traditions.
Ever since, the people of this diverse, vibrant and growing community have contributed to every aspect of life in Canada – from the arts and sciences, to sport, business and to government.
And that diversity truly represents one of Canada's greatest strengths.
We will always strive to ensure that all Canadians have the opportunity to reach their full potential and to participate to in Canada's civic life.
And as a society, we must continue to work every day to make sure that Canada remains the inclusive, pluralistic society that we've all come to value.
Recent events have highlighted that there remains a lot of anger, anxiety and polarization in our society, which the pressures of the pandemic have only exacerbated.
The rise in racial intolerance directed at Asian Canadians is completely unacceptable and frankly un-Canadian.
It strips the community of their safety and their dignity.
And we must never let hate divide us.
We need to continue to defend the values of diversity and compassion that make our country strong.
And this month, I hope you will join me in celebrating the remarkable contributions that Asian Canadians have made to our country.
And I hope that you'll continue to spread the word, to help us understand and learn from each other, and to embrace Asian cultural diversity and prosperity in Canada.
Thank you all very much.