Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participated in a virtual version of the annual Diwali celebrations, lighting up a ceremonial lamp from his office in Parliament Hill.
“Diwali reminds us that truth, light, and goodness will always prevail,” Trudeau tweeted.
”To celebrate that hopeful message and mark this important festival, I joined a virtual celebration earlier this evening. Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating!”
A host of prominent Canadian politicians joined the celebration, including the Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons, Conservative Erin O’Toole, who also lit a diya.
This was the 20th year of the annual event that first took place in 1998 and was started by late MP Deepak Obhrai, to bring Diwali to Parliament Hill, the seat of power in Canada.
The 2020 celebration was hosted by Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand, the first Hindu Cabinet member in the country’s history, along with MPs Raj Saini from the city of Kitchener in Ontario and Gary Anandasangaree from Scarborough in Toronto. It was organised by British Columbia MP Todd Doherty in association with the Deepak Obhrai Foundation and the Canada-India Foundation.
Thanking Trudeau for being “gracious” in joining the online festivity, India’s High Commissioner to Ottawa Ajay Bisaria tweeted, “Diwali is now so much a Canadian festival!”