Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff on the Surrey Vaisakhi parade

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff made the following statement regarding the Vaisakhi parade in Surrey:

“The Surrey Vaisakhi parade has been, for many years, a celebration of the Sikh faith and a true celebration of community that transcends all cultural backgrounds. For the more than one hundred thousand Canadians that now attend each year, all have felt welcomed, and all have experienced the parade as a joyful and inclusive celebration.

This is why it is with great regret that I and the Liberal Party of Canada have been made aware of the comments of one particular organizer, which would suggest that all are not welcome. It is unfortunate that such an important community celebration has been tarnished by these threats of violence.

Let us be clear: we must unequivocally condemn all threats of violence and extremism in Canadian communities. No public official, no matter what their political affiliation, should ever be excluded or require security at a public event such as this. It is appropriate that the organizers extend my colleague Ujjal Dosanjh and BC MLA Dave Hayer an apology so that this parade may return to its rightful place as a true community celebration.

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our parliamentary caucus, I express our strongest wishes for a peaceful resolution to this unfortunate turn of events.”

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