On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I am delighted to extend warm greetings to everyone attending Tarang 2010, hosted by the Kashmiri Overseas Association of Canada (KOAC) and the Shakira Foundation. Our province is fortunate to benefit from the presence of organizations like the KOAC and the Shakira Foundation — groups that provide programs and services aimed at the betterment of our communities and assisting those in need. I commend the devoted staff and volunteers of these fine organizations for helping members of the Kashmiri community in Canada to succeed in our society, and for raising funds for humanitarian projects abroad. To everyone in attendance: thank you for your support of tonight’s event. The monies raised this evening will do much to further the good work of the KOAC and the Shakira Foundation. I would also like to recognize the organizers, volunteers and talented performers for the time and energy you have dedicated to making this event possible. Please accept my best wishes for an enjoyable evening and a successful fundraiser.

Greetings from the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

I am pleased to extend my warmest greetings and welcome everyone to Tarang 2010, hosted by the Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOAC) of Canada and Sharika Foundation. On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued dedication towards building a strong, united and pluralistic Canada. Since 1838, with the first arrivals from the Indian subcontinent to the Americas, Canada has been enriched by the hard work and dedication of many generations of South Asians, especially those from the Hindu community. As Prime Minister Harper remarked on his recent visit to India, “the bonds between Canada and India are strong and plentiful. We are both democratic federal states that have forged cohesive societies out of ethnically, spiritually and linguistically diverse populations.” I also had the opportunity to visit India and Pakistan myself, the first international trip I took when I had the honour of being appointed the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. I am keenly aware of the extensive contributions that South Asians in general have made to the entire country and the potential that exists for their participation in building Canada’s future. As Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “As Canadians we can be proud to live in a society where we can celebrate our tremendous diversity while, at the same time, always taking pride in our country’s unique heritage.” Best wishes to all my Kashmiri friends, for a wonderful event.