May 12, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following message was released today by Greg Byrne, minister responsible for the population growth secretariat, on the occasion of Asian Heritage Month in New Brunswick:
As minister responsible for the Population Growth Secretariat, it is a pleasure and privilege to declare May as Asian Heritage Month in New Brunswick.
The contributions made by Asian New Brunswickers have been unmistakable throughout our province's history. Indeed, their work ethic, dedication and strength have helped to serve as mortar in our province's construction. At the same time, New Brunswick has enjoyed long-standing business, educational and personal ties with many Asian communities throughout the world.
As we look to a self-sufficient future in New Brunswick, our Asian communities are crucial partners in improving trade, increasing immigration, and building our province's diversity. At present, three of the top five countries from which immigrants come to New Brunswick are the Asian nations of China, Korea and India. It is therefore clear that Asian immigrants have a strong interest in being in New Brunswick, and are helped in their efforts to belong and be better by groups such as the Asian Heritage Society.
Our government believes strongly that self-sufficiency will be achieved by embracing diversity and valuing the contributions of people from different cultural backgrounds. Guided by these beliefs, we've been proud to deliver on our commitments by investing more than $1 million in new funding for developing welcoming communities, expanding immigrant settlement services, and multicultural activities.
Over the coming month, the Population Growth Secretariat will again build on this commitment by being the major funding partner for events taking place in Saint John, Miramichi, Moncton, Bathurst and Fredericton, organized by the Asian communities and multicultural associations of these cities in celebration of Asian Heritage Month. This year's exhibition on display in the Centennial Building lobby will showcase the Philippines. I invite all New Brunswickers to participate in this and all the Asian Heritage Month festivities, which are free to the public. You will find that by taking an interest in the culture of our neighbours, we are fostering cross-cultural understanding and bettering ourselves.