On December 12, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued the following statement marking the first day of Hanukkah:
“At sunset today, Jewish communities in Canada and around the world will welcome the beginning of Hanukkah – one of the oldest traditions in the world.
“For eight nights, families and loved ones will celebrate the Festival of Lights by lighting the candles of the menorah, one by one. Together, they will pray, sing, enjoy food, and share stories of hope.
“Hanukkah is a time to honour the profound strength of the Jewish people, and their triumph over immense adversity. Each Hanukkah candle reminds us that love conquers hatred, that light drowns out darkness, and that even our smallest actions have the power to make a difference in the world.
“This year, we have marked 150 years of Confederation – a chance to celebrate the many cultures, traditions, and beliefs that help make Canada such a wonderful place to live. Jewish Canadians have made significant contributions to our communities and our country, and continue to make Canada inclusive, open, and strong.
“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish all those celebrating a happy and peaceful Hanukkah.
Hanukkah, which means “dedication”, is the festival that commemorates the purification and rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 168 B.C. following the defilement caused by the Greeks during their occupation of the holy Temple, as well as the legend of a small of quantity of oil, enough to light the menorah (candelabra) for a single day, which miraculously lasted for eight days.
Unlike Trudeau’ statement which did not mention the Jewish Temple or the three millennia of Jewish presence in Jerusalem and the Land of, Andrew Scheer, leader of Conservative Party of Canada, released a video greeting in which he detailed the historical events during which the Jewish Maccabees, “who fought tyranny and religious intolerance, miraculously found one jar of oil in their desecrated Temple”.