Ottawa, ON – The Hon. Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition, released the following statement on Commonwealth Day: 

“When the Statute of Westminster was signed in 1931, Canada officially became a founding member of the Commonwealth of Nations – an institution characterized by deep ties of heritage, culture and freedom. 

“Through our membership in the Commonwealth, Canada has retained a core part of our history, honouring the many blessings we have received from our past while also carving our own unique path. It has enabled us to freely collaborate with other nations and explore partnerships with countries that share our customs, traditions and allegiances. 

“The Commonwealth has also provided Canada with a valuable platform to champion justice and equality. In 1961, Prime Minister Diefenbaker used the Commonwealth to denounce apartheid in South Africa. This policy intensified in the 1980s with strong economic sanctions implemented by Prime Minister Mulroney, who worked with other Commonwealth leaders to increase pressure on South Africa to end apartheid once and for all. Similarly, in 2013, Prime Minister Harper called upon the Commonwealth to hold the Sri Lankan government responsible for the ongoing genocide of Tamils. 

“Today, in every corner of the world, member nations are celebrating Commonwealth Day. Together, as we reflect individually on our histories, we honour the powerful bonds of heritage and friendship that continue to tie us together in this truly unique fellowship of freedom.”