Celebrate our great nation

July 1 is Canada Day—a time when friends and families across our nation will gather to celebrate the 146th birthday of the country that we call home and I believe we truly have much to celebrate.
Whether it’s our quality of life, universal health care, stable democracy, natural beauty, or the abundance of natural resources, Canada truly is the envy of the world.
Even when times are tough, we remain a country that most of the world would like to emulate. It is for that reason that thousands of people each year leave the lands that they have called home to seek a better life and opportunity here.
Sometimes it is easy to take for granted many of the benefits we have as Canadians. While we often express frustration with governments or policies, we do so while forgetting that the simple ability to express those frustrations is a right many people in other countries do not have.
We live in a country where opposing views not only are permitted, but openly encouraged in our persistent quest to become “better.”
If we disagree with a position the government has taken, we not only can express our point of view, but we can do something about it and become active participants in shaping our community, our province, and our country in the way we, as Canadians, believe it should be.
We live in a great nation, and I am thankful for the opportunity to celebrate it each July 1 with friends and family from across our region and from places far and wide.
I’m also grateful to the hard-working people in each community across the region who come together months before many of us start thinking about Canada Day to plan the festivities and special events that mark this very important occasion.
I am grateful that when times are tough, as they are in many communities right now, those volunteers give a little more, they do a little extra, and they push even harder to stretch the dollar further to ensure we still can mark this very important holiday.
For that, I would like to say thank you.
In many ways, it is fitting that Canada Day comes at the beginning of summer—the season when we will take advantage of many of the natural resources that make Canada the envy of so many and prepare for many of the festivals, tournaments, and other events that make our communities great places to live.
I look forward to seeing you out and about this summer as we enjoy what makes our country, our province, and our region so great.