By Ted McMeekin, Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Westdale MPP
Like most of you, Canada Day makes me feel both proud and fortunate. It was also a very busy day for me as I travelled across our great Ancaster Dundas Flamborough Westdale communities — from the Canada Day Rotary breakfast in Dundas to the Lynden community Canada Day parade to the RibFest celebration that, besides the mouth-watering food, featured a swearing-in ceremony of new citizens to a late afternoon barbecue in west Hamilton.
It was wonderful to see so many friends celebrating our great nation and the absolute joy on the faces of Canada’s newest citizens as they swore their oaths of allegiance to Canada.
The events of the day soon had me counting our many blessings. They also led me to pen this newspaper column.
For more than two decades now, Canada has been ranked among the best countries in the world, according to the United Nations,, based on our quality of life, educational attainment and life expectancy.
However, there is another important indicator of our success as a country. John Ibbotson, one of our most insightful political commentators, had this to say in a recent book about Canada.
“Canada, more successfully than any other country in the world, is finally defeating intolerance. We are a nation of strangers, bringing in more strangers by the thousands each year, from every region of the globe, who then learn to live together as friends.”
“Canada is the world’s most successful country because it is profiting from the explosive creative forces that are unleashed when people of different races, culture and lifestyles live together and bond”.
I profoundly believe this to be true.
I know we haven’t arrived yet and are far from perfect but I believe we are on the right path and that we are journeying to nationhood building together.
It is together that we will ensure our citizens continue to enjoy standards of education and health care amongst the best in the world.
It is together we will work to ensure our families have jobs to sustain them.
It is together we will shape communities where people feel safe and supported.
It is together we will continue to build a country that is open and welcoming, that embraces the gifts we all bring from all corners of the globe.
And it is together that we will make all of these things come true.
On Canada Day 30 strangers became new citizens of Canada. They chose to come here because they believe Canada is a great country.
And Canada will continue to be a great country because they chose to come here.Thank you for becoming part of “us”….and thank you for allowing us to become part of you.