A bill to recognize April as Sikh Heritage Month has been in the works and it just finished the first hour of its second reading. The next hour is planned for sometime in October.
Bill C-376, which was introduced by Sukh Dhaliwal, Member of Parliament for Surrey-Newton, would grant further support and validation to celebrations that already happen every April.
Canada has the second largest Sikh population in the world outside of India at 500,000 and the bill would serve to help celebrate Sikh culture, their growth as a central group in Canada, and their contributions.
The month of April holds particular significance to Sikhs. It’s a time of year when the community celebrates Vaisakhi, which marks the birth of the Khalsa Panth.
Every April community organizations across Brampton celebrate Sikh Heritage Month through art, music, charity work and more.
Brampton MP Ruby Sahota addressed the House of Commons during the second reading saying “I look around at my fellow Sikh members of Parliament, listen to their personal stories, and cannot help but acknowledge and be grateful that we have had the opportunity to be here today because of the hard work and struggles of the Sikh community before us.”
If the bill passes its second reading it will move onto the committee stage for further study.
3 October 2018 – Correction: This piece previously stated that the bill had passed second reading. It has now been updated.
Feature Image – Sikh Heritage Month