(Minghui.org) May 13, 2015 was the 23rd anniversary of Falun Dafa's introduction to the public, as well as the 16th anniversary of World Falun Dafa Day. Falun Dafa is an ancient spiritual practice introduced to the public in 1992 by Master Li Hongzhi.

Elected officials from the province of Ontario joined hundreds of Falun Dafa practitioners to celebrate the day at Toronto Town Square with a rally, a parade, large-scale group exercises and performances on May 17, 2015.

Led by the Divine Land Marching Band, Falun Dafa practitioners marched from Town Square to Chinatown, then back to Toronto Town Square.

World Falun Dafa Day celebration at Toronto Town Square on May 17, 2015

Falun Dafa practitioners celebrate World Falun Dafa at Toronto Town Square on May 17, 2015

Elected officials join Falun Dafa practitioners in cheering, “Falun Dafa is great!”

The Divine Land Marching Band led the parade starting at noon from Town Square Toronto.

Honorable Jack Maclaren, MPP of Ontario

“Falun Dafa's wonderful values are international values of good people across the world”

“You have the wonderful values of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance,” said MPP Jack Maclaren. “You practice mediation and mild exercises in pursuit of mental, moral, and physical health. You are humble and you are unselfish. Those wonderful values are Canadian values. I always say they are international values of good people across the world.

“You dared to have your beliefs that you are going to stick with, you are not going to be deterred or give up, because you believe it,” he added. “I learned this since I was elected three-and-a-half years ago. You are the strongest people in the world.”

MP and Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Falun Dafa, Honorable Peter Kent

Member of Parliament and newly elected chair of Parliamentary Friends of Falun Dafa, the Honorable Peter Kent, said, “Falun Dafa has brought spiritual fulfillment, mental, and physical well being to millions of people all around the world through gentle exercises, meditation, and the virtues of Zhen-Shan-Ren, (Truthfulness Compassion and Tolerance).”

He added that the Canadian government has regularly and consistently called on the Chinese Communist Party to protect people's rights and freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of religion for all Chinese, including Falun Dafa practitioners.

The Honorable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo

Senator Thanh Hai Ngo said that Falun Dafa practitioners have been peacefully resisting the persecution for 16 years. “We believe the Chinese authorities must accept the existence of Falun Dafa, must allow them to practice in China,” he stated.

“The Communist regime is afraid of people with faith,” said Senator Ngo. He added that the regime persecutes all faiths, but especially Falun Dafa since it has so many practitioners.

“You can be a successful country and still respect people's faith.”

The Honorable MP Brad Butt

In his speech, Honorable MP Brad Butt said that Canada is a great country that respects and cherishes other people's religions, ethnicities, and faith.

“We have to stand up for these Canadian values and export Canadian values to countries like China,” he said. “You can be a successful country and still respect people's faith.”

Former Canadian Senator Mr. Consiglio Di Nino

“I believe you will succeed because your cause is just”

Former Canadian Senator Mr. Consiglio Di Nino also spoke at the rally. He said that people in China still cannot enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

However, he is optimistic because he believes that there is “a little bit of light at the other end of the tunnel,” as some of the Chinese officials who have been persecuting Falun Dafa for many years are being prosecuted in China.

“I believe you will succeed because your cause is just. You are not asking anything other than fundamental principles.” The senator added that it was important for people from around the world who believe in fundamental principles and fundamental rights to side with Falun Dafa and support and promote the cause.

Mr. Di Nino predicted that it will be only a short time before people can freely celebrate Falun Dafa Day in China.