“Today our Lebanese friends and neighbours across Ontario, and proud Lebanese around the world, celebrate Lebanon’s history, culture, and independence from colonial rule in 1943.
“Lebanon achieved its independence from mandate governance on November 22nd, 1943, after 23 years of foreign authority over the nation.
“In the years since, Lebanon has fought to establish a system that respects the ancient elements and contributions of its Muslim and Christian communities, and one that includes all groups in the political life of Lebanon. I witnessed firsthand Lebanese diversity in action when I visited in 2016, and can never forget the inclusiveness and warmth of the Lebanese people and the natural beauty of one of the gems of the Middle East.
“The pluralism sought by the Lebanese people is one that characterizes our province and nation’s values—freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights and the rule of law. Ever since the earliest days of Lebanese immigration to Canada beginning in the late 1800s, this community has been making its mark in cities across our province, and has been adding to our own pluralism and diversity throughout this incredible journey.
“Today, Ontario’s Lebanese community contributes to every segment of society—our culture, economy, politics, and beyond—and continues to reflect the very best of our province’s values.
“Ontario’s Lebanese community is an invaluable part of our province’s social and cultural fabric. Lebanese Independence Day provides us all with the opportunity to learn more about Lebanese history and culture, and to reflect on the many ways Ontario’s Lebanese community helps to make our province a better place to live.
“Happy Lebanese Independence Day!”