Ottawa officially declares November as Lebanese Heritage Month

The city of Ottawa, the capital of Canada, has declared that the month of November is

Lebanese Heritage Month.

The motion was moved by Councillor R. Brockinton and seconded by Councillor M. Qaqish during the Ottawa City Council meeting on October 25th, 2017. This is to honour Ottawa’s

Lebanese community

which has contributed significantly to “the City’s cultural, religious, economic, and political landscape.” Despite not being a big community, just like

in Halifax

, the Lebanese community is quite strong and active. There is also a provincial legislature, bill 60, being debated in Ontario to similarly declare November

Lebanese Heritage Month

for the province of Ontario. The motion reads as follow:

WHEREAS according to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, Ottawa is home to approximately 9,800 residents of Lebanese heritage; and WHEREAS, Ottawa’s Lebanese community has contributed significantly to the City’s cultural, religious, economic and political landscape; and WHEREAS, the provincial legislature is currently debating Bill 60, an Act to proclaim the month of November Lebanese Heritage Month; and WHEREAS, notice has been provided in the Parliament of Canada requesting debate on Motion 115, to declare November Lebanese Heritage Month; and WHEREAS, the Embassy of Lebanon is participating in the Ottawa Welcomes the World Canada150 event and will be at the Horticultural Building at Lansdowne Park on November 20, which coincides with Lebanese Independence Day; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the month of November be declared Lebanese Heritage Month in the City of Ottawa.

It’s important to note that despite the motion stating Ottawa is home to about 9,800 Lebanese, the number according to Statistics Canada is closer to 20,000. However, in reality, this number is much higher as the Census forms do not have the option to list multiple nationalities/citizenships. It also doesn’t account of Lebanese born in Canada and only hold Canadian citizenship – despite still being active within the Lebanese community. As Canada celebrates its 150th year since the confederation, it’s an honour to have the city recognize the contribution the Lebanese community has offered. There’s a Canada150 event on November 22nd titled Ottawa Welcomes the World. The Embassy of Lebanon is set to participate that day – which happens to coincide with the Lebanese Independence Day. Maybe this will bring us a set closer to getting

direct flights between Canada and Lebanon

!

Are you Lebanese living in Canada? Join our Facebook group!