Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan issue statements on Vaisakhi

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      There will be no Vaisakhi parades in Vancouver and Surrey for the third straight year, due to the pandemic.

      But this important holiday for the Sikh community is being recognized by politicial leaders.

      Below, you can read the statements issued today by the prime minister and the B.C. premier.

      Justin Trudeau shared a laugh with former B.C. premier Christy Clark at a Vaisakhi celebration several years ago.

      Justin Trudeau's statement

      “Today, Sikhs in Canada and around the world will celebrate Vaisakhi.

      “The holiest day of the year in the Sikh faith, Vaisakhi celebrates the creation of the community of baptized Sikhs, known as the Khalsa, by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1699.

      “To mark this occasion, Sikhs traditionally gather at their local Gurdwaras to pray and read from the sacred texts and organize religious processions, known as Nagar Kirtans, across the country. While these past two years have been challenging, I know people found inspiration in Sikhism’s teachings of equality, unity, and social justice – values which we all strive to embody, now and as we recover from the pandemic and move ahead to better times.

      “For all Canadians, Vaisakhi is an opportunity to honour Canada’s Sikh community – one of the largest in the world – and celebrate the many contributions they have made, and continue to make, in shaping the strong, diverse, and inclusive Canada we know today. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canadians of Sikh faith have shown their commitment to their communities and their country through seva – selfless service. They have supported their local food banks, provided warm clothing to the homeless, and raised money for many other community initiatives.

      “On behalf of our family, Sophie and I extend our warmest wishes to the Sikh community and all those celebrating Vaisakhi, here at home and around the world.

      “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.”

      John Horgan has walked in many Vaisakhi parades, including in 2017 with Aman Singh, who went on in 2020 to become the first turban-wearing Sikh to be elected to the B.C. legislature.
      Charlie Smith

      Premier John Horgan's statement

      “Today, in B.C. and around the world, people in the Sikh community are celebrating Vaisakhi, one of the holiest holidays in the Sikh faith. Vaisakhi is a celebration of the formation of the Khalsa over 300 years ago.

      “Vaisakhi is normally celebrated through Nagar Kirtans, worship in gurdwaras, and gatherings with friends and family.

      “While some may choose to continue to participate in online Vaisakhi celebrations, many communities will welcome a return to in-person celebrations and visits to gurdwaras.

      “It is also a day to reflect on the teachings of the Sikh gurus who emphasized the values of sharing, ‘sewa’ (service) and living by honest means.

      “B.C. is home to one of the largest Sikh populations outside India. Through difficult times in B.C., the Sikh community in our province has always upheld these teachings of compassion and selfless service and provided inspiration.

      “To take just one example, during the tragic flooding last year, many in B.C.’s Sikh community cooked meals and even chartered a plane to deliver food to people who found themselves suddenly isolated.

      “On behalf of the Government of British Columbia, to everyone who is celebrating, Happy Vaisakhi!

      “Vaisakhi Diyan Lakh Lakh Vadhaiyan!”