Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in this House today to pay tribute to the Jewish people and the celebration of Hanukkah. The word “Hanukkah” is Hebrew for dedication. The holiday commemorates the festival of lights, when one day's supply of olive oil miraculously lasted for eight days during the dedication of the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
Last Sunday, I was honoured to be asked by Rabbi Zaltzman to light the first candle on the menorah in Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls. At a time when people of faith are being persecuted around the world, celebrating our heritage and religions is critical. I would like to thank Rabbi Zaltzman, from Chabad in the Niagara region, for putting together this event each year.
As the word Hanukkah denotes dedication, may we dedicate ourselves to ensuring religious freedom in Canada and around the world. I would like to take this opportunity to wish a happy Hanukkah to my colleagues in this House and across our nation.