Ottawa, December 11, 2009 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on the birthday this coming Sunday of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan:
“I would like to extend warm birthday wishes to His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan.
“The Aga Khan has now been the spiritual leader of the Shia Nizari Ismaili Muslims for more than half a century. During that time he has exerted a profound influence both within and far beyond his community, and has become an extraordinary example of compassion and tolerance.
“This is most evident in the Aga Khan Development Network, which he founded and now chairs, and which works towards social, economic, and cultural development in Asia and Africa.
“It is an honour for Canada that the Aga Khan has chosen Ottawa as the site of the Global Centre for Pluralism and the new Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, and that he is establishing the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre in Toronto.
“Earlier this year, in a moment of great pride for Canadians, His Highness was granted honourary Canadian citizenship in recognition of what Prime Minister Harper described as his ‘leadership as a champion of development, pluralism and tolerance around the world.’
“As Prime Minister Harper has said, ‘his name has become synonymous with humanitarian aid and development in countries beset by conflict and poverty. Just as importantly, he has worked tirelessly as a bridge-builder between faiths and cultures.’
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I wish His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan a long, healthy, and blessed life.”