Ottawa, December 11, 2009 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement recognizing Hanukkah:
“Today marks the beginning of Hanukkah, an eight-day holiday commemorating the triumph of Jewish people against tyranny and oppression more than two thousand years ago.
“Also known as the Festival of Lights, the heart of this holiday is the nightly lighting of a menorah. The menorah holds eight candles, representing the eight nights of the holiday. The festival culminates on the eighth night when all the lights are kindled.
“Hanukkah is also a time of celebration during which Jewish people visit family and friends, exchange gifts, and gather for festive meals.
“For all Canadians, this important holiday provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the tremendous contributions that members of the Jewish community have made to this country‘s rich and diverse heritage.
“As Prime Minister Harper has said, ‘Let me be very clear: The Jewish people will always have a steadfast friend and a stalwart defender in our Government.’
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I wish a happy and blessed Hanukkah to those celebrating here in Canada and around the world.”