Canada will celebrate 'Lebanese Heritage Month' after parliament green light

Canada will celebrate 'Lebanese Heritage Month' after parliament green light
2 min read
27 June, 2023
November will now be celebrated as Lebanese Heritage Month in Canada, recognising the huge contribution the minority had made to the country.
A Lebanese flag waves in the ancient city of Byblos, or Jbeil in Arabic [Getty]

Canada’s parliament has unanimously approved the designation of November as Lebanese Heritage Month.

Bill S-246, officially the Lebanese Heritage Month Act, was given Royal Assent on 20 June, making it law.

It was sponsored by Lena Metlege Diab, a former member of parliament who is of Lebanese descent herself, and represented the district of Halifax Armdale until 2021.

Lebanese Heritage Month will recognise the "significant social, economic, cultural, religious, military, philanthropic and political contributions" made to the Canadian social fabric for generations by Lebanese Canadians, according to the bill.

The month "would encourage Lebanese Canadians to promote their traditions and culture and share them with all Canadians," the bill states.

"Now, therefore, His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows: Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the month of November is to be known as 'Lebanese Heritage Month'."

November was perhaps selected as it coincides with Lebanon's Independence Day from France in 1943, which falls on 22 November.

April is also recognised as Arab Heritage Month in Canada.

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Canada is home to one of the largest Lebanese communities in the world, with the diaspora primarily concentrated in the French-speaking state of Quebec - especially Montreal - and Ontario.

Unofficial estimates by the Canadian government puts the number of Lebanese in the North American country at between 200,000 and 400,000.

Many Lebanese migrated to Canada in recent years due to their country’s unprecedented economic meltdown.

Canada has also aided Lebanon during the crisis, especially following the deadly 4 August 2020 port blast in Beirut.