“This date marks the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821, when Greeks rose up to protest their occupiers, resulting in Greece’s victory over the oppressive Ottoman regime.
“This day also coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, one of the holiest days for Greek Orthodox Christians. Communities throughout Greece will celebrate both occasions with parades and festivities.
“In Canada, there are almost a quarter of a million Canadians of Greek heritage, and their contributions to shaping our country over time have been invaluable. Certainly, we must not forget that ancient Greece was the birthplace of democracy – one of Canada’s fundamental values.
“Today’s celebrations provide an opportunity for all Canadians to learn about Greek history and culture, and to acknowledge the Greek community’s contributions in shaping Canada’s rich heritage.
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I wish the very best to all Canadians celebrating Greek Independence Day.
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