Ottawa, Ontario - October 30, 2016

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the first day of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas:

“Today, we join Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist communities across Canada and around the world to celebrate Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.

“This holiday – known as the Festival of Lights – reflects the triumph of good over evil and celebrates the power of knowledge and hope over ignorance and despair. It is also a time of contemplation and an opportunity to reflect on how to help those less fortunate.

“As we light diyas, share meals, and exchange gifts, we are reminded that Canada’s unique diversity is a blessing. Diwali brings some of the world’s great faiths together, and celebrates our shared values of respect, inclusion, and pluralism.

“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish all those celebrating a very happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas!”