Canadian theater giants Cirque du Soleil performed, and Bono and The Edge from the rock band U2 serenaded the crowd with an acoustic set.
PM Justin Trudeau, who has made inclusiveness a political calling card, gave a speech celebrating that attribute.
“We don’t care where you’re from or what religion you practise, or whom you love – you are all welcome in Canada,” he said to cheers from the crowd.
Justin Trudeau’s speech was delivered in both English and French, a tradition in Canada, which recognizes both as its official languages.
“This is as good a reason as any to reflect on our past, to cheer on today, and to recommit ourselves to the future,” the prime minister said to the 25,000 partygoers who had waited hours to get past security and on to the parliament’s lawn.
Image source Flickr
However, Justin Trudeau also took a moment to remember Canada’s indigenous people, whom he said had been “the victims of oppression” since the first settlers arrived.
“As a society, we must acknowledge past mistakes,” he said, telling the audience that there was still much work to be done in order to achieve reconciliation.
However, Canada, the prime minister said, was determined to see a reconciliation over the coming years and decades.
“It is a choice we make not because of what we did, or who we were, but because of who we are,” he said.
Indigenous culture was represented in many ways across the festivities, with a number of indigenous performers participating in Canada Day concerts in the capital region.
However, some indigenous peoples refused to recognize Canada 150, saying it represented more than a hundred years of colonization.
Sandwiched between security fences and to the west of the main stage on the parliament’s lawn, a group of indigenous protesters set up a teepee.
They were allowed to stay on Parliament Hill after erecting the structure in the early hours of June 29 in what organizers called a “reoccupation”.
Across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, crowds also lined up to see Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall open a new hall at Canada’s Museum of History.
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles’ mother, is Canada’s head of state.
French-Canadian student Alexandre Bissonnette has been charged over the fatal shooting of six Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Quebec.
Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, faces six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder.
He briefly appeared in a Quebec City court over January 29 evening’s attack, during evening prayers at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center.
Vigils have been held across Canada to commemorate those killed and injured.
More than 50 people were at the mosque when the shooting erupted just before 8.00 PM on January 29.
Nineteen people were wounded – all men – and of five people still in hospital, two were in a critical condition.
Quebec provincial police have released the names of all six victims who were killed: Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, and Ibrahima Barry, 39.
Alexandre Bissonnette did not enter a plea as he appeared in court on January 30, wearing a white prison-issue jump suit, his hands and feet shackled.
Image source Facebook
He was arrested in his car on a bridge leading from Quebec City to Ile d’Orleans, where he called police to say he wanted to co-operate with the authorities.
According to local media, Alexandre Bissonnette studied political science and anthropology at Laval University, whose campus is about 2 miles away from the mosque.
Francois Deschamps, an official with an advocacy group, Welcome to Refugees, said Alexandre Bissonnette was known for his far-right views.
The suspect was “unfortunately known to many activists in Quebec for taking nationalist, pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist positions at Laval University and on social media”, Francois Deschamps posted on the organization’s Facebook page.
A man of Moroccan heritage who was also arrested after the attack, Mohamed Khadir, is now being treated as a witness.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both described the shooting as a terrorist attack.
Addressing the more than one million Muslims who live in Canada, Justin Trudeau said: “We are with you.
“Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours. Know that we value you.”
The shooting came amid heightened global tensions over Donald Trump’s travel ban on immigration from seven Muslim countries.
On January 31, the US administration pointed to the Quebec attack as further justification for the new president’s policies.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said: “We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms.
“It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be pro-active, rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”
The mosque has been a target of hate crimes in the past, including last summer when a pig’s head was left on its doorstep during Ramadan.
Mohamed Labidi, vice-president of the Islamic center, said the victims had been shot in the back.
The predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec has welcomed thousands of immigrants from Arab countries and other nations.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has taken a stand on social media against the temporary US ban on refugees and immigration from designated countries.
In a series of tweets, Justin Trudeau underscored his government’s commitment to bringing in “those fleeing persecution, terror & war”.
Within hours, his tweets had been shared more than 150,000 times.
“Welcome to Canada” also became a trending term in the country.
The prime minister, who gained global attention for granting entry of nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees to Canada over the past 13 months, also sent a pointed tweet that showed him greeting a young refugee at a Canadian airport in 2015.
On January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending entry to the United States from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days.
Photo The Canadian Press
The US’s entire refugee admissions program has also been suspended for 120 days.
Those fleeing Syria as refugees are banned until further notice.
The executive orders created confusion in airports around the world as immigration and customs officials struggled to interpret the new rules.
The Canadian government is also in contact with the US administration “to get more clarity” on how the executive orders will affect Canadians citizens travelling to the US, said federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau.
According to State Department, all travelers – including those with dual nationality – from one of the seven designated countries will be barred from entering the US.
That includes people with valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas.
Justin Trudeau has refrained from criticizing Donald Trump, despite the fact the two leaders have very divergent political views.
In recent media appearances, Justin Trudeau has focused on the long friendship between Canada and the US and the deep economic ties between the two nations. The US is Canada’s primary trading partner.
Canada plans to allow 300,000 immigrants into the country in 2017, mostly through economic immigration, though that figure includes 40,000 refugees.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has welcomed the first 163 Syrian refugees to his country.
The first military plane carrying Syrian refugees has landed at Pearson on December 10.
Justin Trudeau said Canada was “showing the world how to open our hearts”.
The newly elected Liberal government has pledged to take in 25,000 refugees by the end of February 2016.
Canada’s stance on the issue differs sharply to that of the US, which has been reluctant to take in refugees.
Another military plane is due in Montreal on December 12.
Immigration Minister John McCallum said all 10 provinces in Canada are in favor of accepting the refugees.
“This is a great moment for Canada,” he said.
“This shows the way we really are. It truly is a non-partisan, national project.”
Photo The Canadian Press
Since early November, hundreds of Syrians have already arrived in Canada via commercial aircraft.
A total of about 300 Syrians will arrive this week.
The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation daily newspaper, ran a cover story on December 10 welcoming the refugees.
The US administration has said it will take in 10,000 refugees over the next year. Some Republican governors have unsuccessfully tried to keep them from coming to their states after deadly terrorist attacks in France and California.
Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said after the California attacks that all Muslims should be blocked from coming to the US, drawing condemnation across the globe.
About 800 refugees are going through screening tests in Lebanon and Jordan daily, John McCallum said.
Justin Trudeau, who swept the October 19 Canadian elections, has a different stance on refugees from that of his predecessor, the conservative Stephen Harper, who did not wish to resettle more people.
Unaccompanied men will be excluded from the resettlement program, but officials said this had nothing to do with national security concerns.
“We want them to have a roof over their head, and the right support,” said John McCallum.
“It takes a bit of time to put that all in place. We’re happy to take a little more time than originally planned to bring our new friends into the country.”
Those who will be considered refugees include families, women deemed to be at risk, and gay men and women.
The Canadian federal elections, formally known as the 42nd Canadian general election, will be held on Monday, October 19.
Canadians vote to elect members to the House of Commons of Canada.
Incumbent Conservative PM Stephen Harper is fighting for a rare fourth term but the frontrunner is Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, son of late PM Pierre Trudeau.
The performance of the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) could also be decisive, analysts say.
Opinion polls have suggested many people are still undecided.
On October 18, party leaders made their final pitch for votes after one of the longest and possibly closest election campaign in Canada’s history, criss-crossing the country to try to sway undecided voters.
Stephen Harper, 56, is selling himself as the steady hand who can steer Canada’s troubled economy back on track.
His campaign has run TV advertisements saying that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, 43, is “just not ready” to take office.
Justin Trudeau started the race in third place but the Liberals took the lead in opinion polls in a late surge.
The Liberal leader is promising change, and investment over austerity.
Although he supports the fight against Islamic State (ISIS), he believes Canada should stop air strikes in Syria and Iraq, and focus on training local forces on the ground.
Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, is considered the father of modern Canada.
NDP leader Tom Mulcair, 60, is hoping to build on his party’s second-place finish in the 2011 elections.
However, support for the NDP appeared to have fallen in recent weeks.
An opinion poll released on October 18 showed the Liberals on 37.3%, seven points ahead of the Conservatives at 30.5%. The NDP had 22.1% according to the Nanos survey taken on October 15 to 17. The margin of error was 2.2%.