Toronto, Aug 16: Greeting India on its 70th Independence Day, Canada re-affirmed its pledge to strengthen bilateral economic ties and collaborate on global issues to maintain international peace and security.
"It has been a pleasure to meet with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, and I look forward to working together to further strengthen the relationship between our two countries, and to collaborating on global issues, including peace and security, climate change, and gender equality," Canadaian Prime Minister Justice Trudeau said.
"Today, we join the people of India and members of the Indo-Canadian community in celebrating India's 70th Independence Day," Trudeau said in a statement on Monday.
"Canada and India unite in our shared traditions of democracy and diversity.Together, our nations stand as a testament to the fact that countries can prosper not in spite of their diversity, but precisely because of it," he said.
"On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie (spouse of Trudeau) and I invite all Canadians to reflect on the significant contributions that Indo-Canadians have made to our national fabric, and wish all those celebrating today a happy Independence Day," Trudeau said.
Celebrations were held in Toronto and Ottawa attended by thousands of people, with marching bands and colourful cultural extravaganza including unfurling of Indian flag in Ottawa by India's High Commissioner Vishnu Prakash and in Toronto by Consul General of India Dinesh Bhatia.
The High Commissioner read out excerpts from President Pranab Mukherjee's message to the nation and addressed the gathering comprising of members and families of the Indo-Canadian Community, friends of India and officials of the High Commission.
Earlier, India Canada Association (ICA) and Panorama India organised the India Day Parade in Ottawa and Toronto. Hundreds of people walked from the Parliament to the city hall, holding afloat banners, Indian and Canadian flags and singing patriotic songs.
A number of Indian community associations and prominent individuals joined the parade with colourful floats.
To mark the occasion, a special flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Ottawa city hall, followed by a cultural programme and brief reception. Minister for Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, Member of Parliament Chandra Arya, Deputy Mayor Bob Monette and the High Commissioner addressed the gathering.