Mr. Speaker, today is the 81st birthday of the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims worldwide.
In 1972, the Aga Khan was pivotal in securing the safe arrival in Canada of thousands of Ugandan Asian refugees fleeing the dictatorship of Idi Amin, including my family.
Over the decades, His Highness has greatly contributed to Canada's cultural fabric, opening Ottawa's Global Centre for Pluralism and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, the only Islamic art museum in North America.
Internationally, his philanthropy through the Aga Khan Development Network has lifted thousands out of poverty and promoted critical issues like environmental protection and educating girls.
In recognition of his lifetime achievements, in 2010 the Aga Khan received our country's highest recognition, honorary citizenship.
It is with great pride that I stand as only the third Ismaili Canadian ever elected to this chamber. I wish all Ismailis celebrating today Khushali Mubarak, and convey best wishes to His Highness on his 81st birthday. I wish a happy birthday to the Hazar Imam.