Ottawa, January 6, 2013 — Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today on the celebration of Christmas by Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics:
“Laureen and I would like to wish Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics in Canada and around the world a peaceful and joyous Christmas.
“Christmas is a time of peace and unity, and a time to gather with friends and family to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus Christ.
“During this special time of year, we recognize the tremendous contributions that Orthodox Christians and Catholics of the varied Eastern rites make to our country and we reaffirm Canada’s commitment to support people of all faiths, and to promote religious freedom around the world.
“To celebrate Canada’s cultural and religious diversity, the Christmas lights along Confederation Boulevard, including Parliament Hill, will stay lit until January 7 to mark all Christmas celebrations.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish you and your family a happy and blessed Christmas.”