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South Asian Heritage Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 29 - Bill 98

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This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 98 and does not form part of the law.  Bill 98 has been enacted as Chapter 29 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2001.

The Bill would proclaim May as South Asian Heritage Month and May 5 as South Asian Arrival Day, in recognition of the contributions made to Ontario by persons of South Asian decent.



chapter 29

An Act to proclaim
May as South Asian
Heritage Month and May 5
as South Asian Arrival Day

Assented to December 14, 2001


South Asian immigrants began arriving in Ontario at the start of the 20th century.  Working primarily in the sawmill industry, South Asian immigrants settled in various parts of the province.  For South Asians, the month of May has been a time of celebration and commemoration of their arrival from the Indian subcontinent to the Americas beginning on May 5, 1838.

While most South Asians came to our country from India, many others came to Ontario from such places as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Mauritius, Singapore, Malaysia, Fiji, the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.  Today, South Asians make up a significant proportion of Ontario’s population and are proud to draw upon their heritage and traditions, contributing to many aspects of culture, commerce and public service across this province.

It is appropriate to recognize and pay tribute to the contributions South Asians have made, and continue to make, to the development and general welfare of Ontario.

Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

South Asian Arrival Day

1. May 5 in each year is proclaimed as South Asian Arrival Day.

South Asian Heritage Month

2. The month of May in each year is proclaimed as South Asian Heritage Month.


3. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

4. The short title of this Act is the South Asian Heritage Act, 2001.