On July 1st we celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday. Over the course of the day, I travelled to five communities within the Lethbridge riding to participate in the many festivities taking place. Without exception, I was tremendously proud of the amazing community spirit show-cased at each event.
As I went from community to community, I saw Canadians who are proud of their country. From the 76-year-old woman who came to my tent at Henderson Lake to retrieve a free bag off cotton candy, to the three-year-old who took sunglasses for him and his baby sister, to the elderly gentleman who shook my hand and told me about moving to Canada from Poland as a young boy, to the thoughtful woman who could only speak enough English to say “thank-you” for the flag I gave her—we are Canadian and we are proud to call this nation home!
The best part of celebrating Canada’s birthday, is celebrating its people.
However, it’s also worth noting that Canada is a country composed of an amazing geographical landscape. From the salty seas, to the thick forests, to the rugged Rocky Mountains, to the vibrant north, to the open prairies—including the province of Alberta (some people have a hard time remembering this province)—Canada is a country rich in geographical variety.
In fact, its diverse landscape is only matched by its diverse people.
From the First Nations, to the French and English voyagers, to the European settlers who came after them, to the people of all nations who have left their homeland to join the Canadian family, together we call Canada home. Regardless of the path that brought us here, we share a common identity in the term “Canadian.”
This identity is defined by both the rights and responsibilities we share as participants in this great country. In Canada, we enjoy freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of speech and of the press; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association. At the same time, we have the responsibility to obey the law; to care for our needs and the needs of our family; to invest in the betterment of our community; to vote in elections; to serve on a jury if asked to do so; to protect our heritage and our environment; and to serve our country.
To be Canadian is to appreciate our history, to celebrate our foundation, and to commit to building for our future.
On this we must unite—we are respectful, we are resilient, we are hard-working, and we are compassionate.
We are Canadian.
As we move forward, may we commit ourselves to building a stronger, freer and more prosperous country by gleaning from the best of our past, stewarding the present, and building for our future.
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