“June 20th is a day where we can reflect on the tragedy, plight, and courage of refugees around the world.
“Since before Confederation, Canada has been a place of refuge, hope and freedom for those fleeing unimaginable hardship. Whether they were escaped slaves from the American south before the Civil War or the Vietnamese Boat People, Canada has acted as a beacon of hope.
“Last May, I visited Lebanon and had the opportunity to personally meet with refugees. I was overwhelmed by the number of orphan children and the stories of widows who fled horrific violence in Syria.
“Too many around the world continue to face persecution. Whether they are North Koreans, fleeing a despotic dictator whose regime imposes intergenerational punishment, forced abortions and torture, or millions elsewhere forced from their homes due to the ravages of war and conflict, it is indeed a dire situation.
“On this day, we reflect on these challenges and remain grateful to all the organizations in our province that have privately sponsored refugees. We thank you for your generosity.”