Today, in the Ontario Legislature, the Tamil Heritage Month Act 2012, passed First Reading. In a parliamentary process that involves three readings of a bill and the formal Royal Assent from the Lieutenant Governor, this is a critical first step that brings hope to enacting in law, January, as Tamil Heritage Month in Ontario.
MPP Michael Coteau, Don Valley East, introduced the bill and has called on Members of Provincial Parliament from across the province to take part and support the bill through the various stages in parliament.
This bill stems from a formal announcement that was made by Premier Dalton McGuinty at the Canadian Tamil Congress' Thai Pongal Dinner. During the announcement, the Premier declared that a Liberal Member of Parliament will be bringing forward the initiative to recognize the contributions made and the obstacles overcome by the Tamil community in Ontario.
The Canadian Tamil Congress along with many community associations and partners have been and continue to be engaged in bringing to light the importance of such an initiative and we applaud the Premier and MPP Coteau for hearing our calls and taking leadership on this front.
MPP Coteau stated, “I encourage the community to call their local MPP's to ensure that all parties support this important bill. January is an important month for the Tamil Canadian community as the Tamil Harvest Festival (Thai Pongal) occurs in this month. By proclaiming the month of January as Tamil Heritage Month, the Province of Ontario recognizes the valuable contributions that Tamil Canadians have made to Ontario’s social, economic, political and cultural fabric".
The Canadian Tamil Congress joins MPP Coteau today in his call for community advocacy in the form of calls to local MPP's to support the passage of a bill that will continue to reside in the hearts and mind of Tamil Canadians today, tomorrow, and well into the future.
For more information, please contact Canadian Tamil Congress (416) 240-0078