OTTAWA, ON –The Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, issued the following statement on Journey to Freedom Day:
“Today marks the sixth Journey to Freedom Day, when we commemorate the thousands of Vietnamese boat people who fled a violent communist takeover and found peace and freedom in Canada.
“After the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, countless Vietnamese people fled communism and left behind their war-torn country in boats, unsure of their destination or future. Bravely facing perilous waters, thousands of these refugees lost their lives at sea from starvation, pirates, and deadly storms, but it did not break their courage to find a new home.
“It was under the previous Conservative government that the Journey to Freedom Day Act was passed, championed by the Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, the first Senator of Vietnamese descent. Canada’s compassionate response and humanitarian aid in welcoming over 120,000 Vietnamese refugees, resulted in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees awarding Canada with the Nansen Refugee Award. This marked the only time in history that the prestigious medal was awarded to an entire nation.
“After successfully resettling refugees in all ten provinces and two territories, today Canada is proud to be home to one of the largest Vietnamese diasporas. Canadians of Vietnamese descent have contributed tremendously to our country in all aspects of life – raising families, building businesses, and serving as professionals, first responders, clergy, and in many other capacities.
“On behalf of Canada’s Conservatives, I am proud to commemorate this day.”
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