July 1, 2016
Kiwanis Beaver Creek Park
Ladies and gentlemen, guests and friends, on behalf of Mayor and Council welcome one and all to beautiful Kiwanis Beaver Creek Park and thank you for joining us here today on Canada’s 149th birthday. Thank you to the Kiwanis Club and Mayor Checcini for organizing this great event.
We are so fortunate to be able to freely gather here and celebrate the privilege of being Canadian. I truly do view my Canadian citizenship as a gift. One that I was fortunate enough to receive - just by virtue of being born here. My ancestors came here from Newcastle, England to work in the coal mines on Vancouver Island and make a better life for themselves and future generations. I always knew growing up that Canada was a special place and my appreciation for this gift has only increased with age. It was only recently though, when I had the privilege of attending the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference in 2015, that I came to fully understand just how special this country really is.
Last June, over a period of two weeks I travelled across our country with a group of over 200 other leaders from every province and territory. My team was fortunate to tour through Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe, an historic and culturally diverse region. We travelled by bus, subway, foot and air - visiting over 50 separate sites and venues across the region – learning about what makes our country tick and how Canada is well positioned to be a global leader in an ever changing and increasingly competitive globalized world. Whether it is in education, medical technology, social entrepreneurship or being at the leading edge of the green power revolution – Canada is at the fore. We truly are a progressive and innovative people.
Canada affords opportunity to natural born citizens and newcomers alike. In fact, it was mostly a migrant population from the old world, along with First Nations that built the cities and infrastructure we inhabit and use today. It is the descendants of these brave souls who now enjoy one of the greatest standards of living on earth today. We are consistently ranked as one of the top 5 countries to live in across the globe. This is something we should all be proud of - because it is communities like ours that make it so.
In an increasingly complex and unstable world, Canada is still viewed as a beacon of hope and a bastion of stability. I’ve heard it said that Canada is one of the few countries in the world where two people on completely opposite sides of the political spectrum can agree to disagree on a major issue - and still have a pint together afterwards. It is actually this very thing that makes us unique and special, our ability to respect the differences of the many peoples who inhabit this great land. And in doing so, we still find ways to achieve common goals and move our country forward.
With that ladies and gentlemen, I will leave you to appreciate the gift that we all share today - on our young nation’s birthday… the privilege of being Canadian.
Thank you for indulging me and Happy Canada Day to you all.
City of Trail