May 6, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following message is issued today by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who is also the minister responsible for the Population Growth Secretariat, in observance of Asian Heritage Month:
It is my pleasure to proclaim May as Asian Heritage Month.
Recognized throughout Canada since 1993, Asian Heritage Month is a unique opportunity for all of us to reflect on the long and rich history of Asian Canadians as well as their lasting contributions to our country.
It is also notable that Asian Heritage Month is punctuated this year by the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean Conflict when so many Asian Canadians joined together to combat Communism.
This month enables all Canadians to appreciate further the important role that Canadians and New Brunswickers of Asian ancestry continue to play in our communities.
They have played a key role in building our nation. Guided by their strong work ethic, dedication and immense strength, Asian New Brunswickers have brought about important innovations in areas ranging from business, technology and the arts.
I am confident that, as our Asian community continues to grow, the best contributions are yet to come as we work together and achieve self-sufficiency for New Brunswick.
Today, we see that the Asian countries of India, Korea and China are three of the top five countries from which immigrants come to our province. This is a strong statement about the connection our province has with the nations of Asia and the welcome that these immigrants receive upon arriving in New Brunswick.
Asian Heritage Month provides us with an important opportunity to celebrate multiculturalism and the belief that Canadians - regardless of religion, race, culture or creed - have the ability to live together in harmony and to learn from one another.
We recognize that multiculturalism must be lived and supported each day by the government and New Brunswickers.
Since October 2006, we have doubled the multicultural grants program and invested more than $2 million in new funding for multicultural and immigrant settlement services.
We have proudly supported the immigrant-serving, multicultural and ethno-cultural agencies that, day after day, work to make our province a more welcoming place in which to be.
Once again this year, the Asian Heritage Society of New Brunswick has set up an exhibit to raise awareness and educate about the rich mosaic of Asian culture and traditions.
This year's exhibition features cultural galas, foods and events highlighting the similarities and differences of specific Asian cultures. Indeed, special recognition should be given to the Asian Heritage Society for the painstaking work it has done year over year to expand its activities and make it truly provincial in scope.
I encourage all New Brunswickers to take an active role in making our province more welcoming by getting involved over the coming days in the celebrations around Asian Heritage Month.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brendan Langille, communications, Population Growth Secretariat, 506-444-5070.