On Sunday, February 9th, 2014, Phap Van Temple had the honour of welcoming the Minister for Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, along with government officials, Senator Ngo Thanh Hai, Senator Victor Oh and MP Brad Butt. A new year visit by government officials is truly an honour, not just for Phap Van Temple, but for all Vietnamese immigrants of the GTA.
This event marks one of many notable events in the past few years, and is an indication that the Vietnamese community in Canada is growing strong, attracting attention and respect from both politicians and the Canadian government. The Prime Minister, Ontario Premier, Ministers, MP’s, have all attended festivals hosted by the Vietnamese community. They all acknowledge the Vietnamese community’s considerable contribution to the Canadian economy and to multiculturalism. From a small and humble community of “boat people,” we have grown into a significant component of Canada’s mainstream society.
After the new year greeting speech, the Minister for Multiculturalism and government officials offered red envelopes to more than 500 Buddhists and visitors in the main hall. At this event, Mr. James Nguyen, representative of the Vietnamese Association of Toronto, took the opportunity to present an appreciation plaque to the Minister for Multiculturalism, to thank him for his continuous efforts in supporting the Vietnamese community.
Afterward, Mr. Jason Kenney took a tour of the temple and posed for pictures with community representatives, Buddhists and visitors.