Ladies and gentlemen,

I'd like to thank the Canadian Federation of Chabad Lubavitch for inviting me to address today's memorial service.

Sadly, that age-old hatred, anti-Semitism, remains an ever-present evil in our world today.

Last November, the world watched in horror as a group of fanatics systematically murdered more than 170 people in the heart of Mumbai.

Among those targeted were Rabbi Gavriel and Rebbetzin Rivka Holtzberg.

By performing mitzvahs and bringing more light into this world, the Holtzbergs were fulfilling the late Rabbi Schneerson's vision for strengthening Judaism.

Their brutal, senseless murders were vile affronts to the values that unite all civilized peoples.

As we honor their memory this Purim, a holiday that recalls anti-Semitism's long and brutal history, we are reminded of the need to remain ever-vigilant against the forces of intolerance and oppression.

Today I join with you in expressing my deepest sympathies to the Chabad Lubavitch family and all those who mourn the deaths of Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.

At the same time, the immediate arrival of a new rabbi to Mumbai to carry on the work of the Holtzbergs sends a powerful message: The Jewish community will never bow to hate and violence.

And when it comes to standing against hate and intolerance, none have persevered and been as resolute as the Jewish people.

Anti-Semitism is a pernicious evil that must be exposed, confronted and repudiated whenever and wherever it appears.

Fuelled by lies and paranoia, it is an evil so profound that – as we have learned from history and saw in Mumbai – it is ultimately a threat to us all.

Under our government:

  • Canada will remain an unyielding defender of Jewish religious freedom

  • A forceful opponent of anti-Semitism in all its forms

  • And a staunch supporter of a secure and democratic State of Israel.

In closing, I would like to thank the Canadian Federation of Chabad Lubavitch.

And rabbi we were old touched by your story of your fathers journey across the world, coming through Canada, where as you said, we opened our home. I hope that you will understand, the Jewish people will always understand, that Canada will always be their home.

Chabad Lubavitch's education and outreach programs have strengthened the bonds of the faith and its good works have produced miracles for many, many families and people in Canada and around the world.

Thank you for your contribution to this country and to the world, and thank you for having me here today.

Thank you.