(Minghui.org) May 13, 2023 is the 31st anniversary of Falun Dafa’s public introduction, and the 24th World Falun Dafa Day. Several cities in Ontario, Canada issued congratulatory letters and held flag-raising ceremonies to express their congratulations.

In addition to the cities that participated in flag-raising ceremonies in previous years, two cities, Hamilton and Barrie in Ontario, raised flags to “Celebrate Falun Dafa Day” for the first time this year. The city of Hamilton also held a lighting ceremony on the evening of May 13 to express gratitude for the contributions that Falun Dafa has made to the community.

Hamilton is a famous industrial city in Canada and the seat of McMaster University. Barrie is an emerging industrial city in Canada.

The flag-raising ceremony was held for the first time in Hamilton, Ontario on May 11. On the evening of May 13, the city’s landmark building was lit up to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day.

Flag-raising ceremony was held in Hamilton on May 11.

Practitioners at the ceremony

The lighting ceremony

In the video, Dan Muys, Member of Parliament (MP) for Hamilton district, praised Falun Dafa’s values of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, which he said enrich Canada and the world. He said, “Falun Gong practitioners in China and around the world are very peaceful and kind, but under constant threat of intimidation, imprisonment, or worse.” He said that he will stand with Falun Gong practitioners and remember this day - “Falun Dafa Day.”

He said, “The Hamilton sign behind me will be lit up in yellow, blue, and purple, as well as the flag will be raised. It will be the first time this will happen in the city of Hamilton. I know other cities in Canada raised the flag of ‘Falun Dafa Day’ over the years.”

The deputy mayor of Hamilton, Esther Pauls, attended the flag-raising ceremony and delivered a speech, praising the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.

Esther Pauls (middle in blue dress), deputy mayor of Hamilton, has a group photo with practitioners.

“Why is there such a beautiful morning today? The weather is so good! It’s because you are here, representing Falun Dafa, which is very good, thank you,” Esther Pauls, deputy mayor of Hamilton, said. “As a lawyer, and deputy mayor, this is a great honor for us.

“This is a practice guided by Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. I like the kind of compassion and sincerity, which is what it is all about.” Ms. Pauls said, “Today, to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day around the world, including the City of Hamilton, to highlight our freedom of worship by flying the flag outside City Hall.”

Hamilton City Councilor Mike Spadafora and his letter

Hamilton City Councilor Mike Spadafora wrote, “It is with gratitude that I am able to recognize the values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance that are displayed by Falun Dafa.

“The world today has much division and conflict, but we can seek comfort in these constant values displayed by Falun Dafa which give hope for change.”

Flag-Raising in Barrie

The first flag-raising ceremony was held in Barrie at 11:30 am on May 13. John Brassard MP and Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall participated in and presided over it, and expressed gratitude to Falun Dafa for its contributions to the community.

Flag-raising ceremony in Barrie

Practitioners in flag-raising ceremony in Barrie

John Brassard MP (fourth from right) and Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall (fifth from right) preside over the ceremony.

John Brassard MP (fourth from right) and Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall (fifth from right) preside over the ceremony.

John Brassard MP said the phrase “Falun Dafa is good” in Chinese during the flag-raising ceremony. He said he was pleased to be there to celebrate Falun Dafa Day. He has been a Falun Dafa supporter for many years, but he said that this year, this topic should be brought up even more, and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is even more important, because Canada is threatened by the CCP authorities.

He said he supported Falun Dafa because of the three words, Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. In the community, we can see the way every Falun Gong practitioner behaves, not only in Barrie, but all over the country.

This year marks the 31st anniversary of the introduction of Falun Dafa, and it is also the first flag-raising in Barrie. He thanked the Falun Gong practitioners, the mayor, and the city councilors in Barrie. “Thank you for understanding how important Falun Dafa is. Today I want to stand here, not just to convey the message against the persecution. I also want to say to all practitioners, I support you because Falun Dafa is good.”

John Brassard MP issues the recognition.

Recognition from John Brassard MP

Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall proclaimed May 13 as Falun Dafa Day in the city. During the ceremony he said, “I think it is important for the city of Barrie to recognize Falun Dafa Day by holding a flag-raising ceremony. I think the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners extends from China to all over the world, so we need to hold a flag-raising ceremony to let more citizens understand the situation and fight side by side with Falun Gong practitioners.”

He said the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are important. There is too much hypocrisy, lack of compassion, and narrow-minded things in today’s society. He said he was a heart-felt supporter and hoped this flag would bring light and hope to the whole world.

Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall presents the proclamation.

Proclamation from Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall

About Falun Dafa Day

World Falun Dafa Day was first designated on May 13, 2000, to celebrate the Falun Dafa spiritual discipline and its positive impact on the health and spirit of millions around the world. The occasion also highlights practitioners' efforts to uphold their freedom of belief in the face of brutal persecution by the Chinese communist regime. May 13 marks both the anniversary of Falun Dafa’s public introduction and the birthday of its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi.