The speedy passage of Bill S-246 ensures that, every November, LebaneseCanadians from coast to coast to coast will be acknowledged for their contributions to Canada.
Just after 12:45 am on Wednesday, June 14, The House of Commons unanimously adopted Bill S-246, an act respecting Lebanese Heritage Month. In a monumental occasion for Lebanese Canadians across the country, members of all parties joined together to expedite and pass the bill following a brief debate.
MP Lena Metlege Diab, the bill’s sponsor in the House of Commons, shared her excitement following the bill’s passage, “Today is a significant day, not just for Lebanese Canadians but for all Canadians. This important recognition, on the national level, is a tribute to everything Lebanese Canadians have accomplished over almost a century and a half in our country. This bill’s passage is going to encourage people to get in touch with their Lebanese heritage, foster deeper connections with Canada’s Lebanese communities, and provide a new and exciting platform for the celebration of Lebanese culture, food, history, and art in each and every province and territory.”
In her speech on the bill, MP Diab touched upon the many stories she heard throughout her decades of involvement in the Lebanese community in Halifax and Nova Scotia. Her remarks highlighted those Canadians who had lost their connection to their Lebanese heritage through assimilation and fear of prejudice, as well as the opportunity for rediscovery of that heritage that the proclamation of Lebanese Heritage Month in Nova Scotia provided in 2018. With the passage of S-246, communities across Canada will celebrate the first Lebanese Heritage Month in November 2023. The month of November is of particular significance to Lebanese around the world, as Lebanese Independence Day is marked each year on November 22.
MP Diab added, “I want to thank all the parliamentarians—from both chambers— who pulled me aside to chat over the last 18 months, and all the local leaders in our Lebanese communities. The way in which we all worked together to ensure this community is seen, valued, and celebrated was truly something to behold. I encourage all Canadians to join in Lebanese Heritage Month celebrations this year in their communities.”