GREETINGS: Surrey MP Nina Grewal wants to wish everyone ‘Merry Christmas,’ saying political correctness ‘unnecessary’

Published: December 20, 2012

LARISSA CAHUTE 
VANCOUVER DESI

MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells Nina Grewal believes in Christmas, and has voiced her concerns about its marginalization in the House of Commons each of the past four holiday season. Submitted photo

Surrey MP Nina Grewal is calling political correctness a Grinch.

As a Sikh, the Fleetwood-Port Kells MP would like to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas,” not just “Happy Holidays.”

“The majority are Christians here in Canada — and Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world,” Grewal told Vancouver Desi on Thursday. “We’re proud of our values, including freedom of religion, so then why in the name of political correctness do we say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas?”

Grewal addressed her concerns in the House of Commons on Dec. 12 — which she’s done each Christmas season for the past four years. She also welcomed the festive spirit into her Surrey riding office on Thursday with a Christmas open house.

“Religious and ethnic communities come from around the world — we come to Canada to find freedom and a better way of life … (we have a) long tradiiton of pluralism and respect for the traditions of others,” she said.

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So during this time of year, Grewal questions why Christmas trees are left out of courthouses, or why Christmas concerts are disguised with generic names.

“We as society celebrate Chinese New Year, Diwali — so many festivals and at the same time we’re robbing Christians of the true meaning of Christmas,” she said. “References to god, the Christ and the lord are removed – it just leaves us with a meaningless consumer holiday.”

Grewal said the correctness “dilutes the holiday” as an “unnecessary attempt to be inclusive.”

“As a Sikh, I’m not offended when Christians celebrate Christmas in a traditional way,” she said. “I’m so pleased to celebrate with my Christian friends.”

Director of Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Sukhminder Virk, agreed with Grewal, insisting wishing someone a Merry Christmas isn’t offensive.

“I think it’s important to actually use the names of the holiday,” said Virk. “For Vaisakhi you wouldn’t want to call it a happy holiday at that time either.”

“We must protect Christmas because it is a part of our Canadian identity,” said Grewal.

Grewal has held her Conservative riding in Fleetwood-Port Kells since 2004, being re-elected in 2006, 2008 and 2011.





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