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Happy Birthday Canada

This has been a significant year as we head into our 150th as a country. We’re still young and we have a lot left to figure out. But at a time when many places in the world are in a state of flux, Canada is rebounding and redefining itself. And the world is taking notice.

Canada is ranked second best in the world on social progress indicators. We have for decades built one of the best places on earth for people to reach their greatest potential. Being that beacon in the world is important now more than ever.

There have been articles and accolades for our Prime Minister and his government’s commitment to change. The threat of Republican candidate Donald Trump becoming the next POTUS has had Americans considering moving to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. As the threat continues to get more real with every week that passes, more and more Americans are beginning to assess their options. And last week in the days following the Brexit vote, Google trends spiked ‘move to Canada’ amongst Britons. 

Most significantly, Canada answered the call and welcomed thousands of Syrian refugees across our country into our hearts and homes.

 You might believe Canada lost its groove for a few years. And that’s made it more challenging (as a country that treats self-reflection as a national pastime) to accept the world’s attention. There’s been a resurgence of pride, but always tempered with some self-doubt. (“Are you sure you mean us?”)

My hope on the eve of Canada Day is that we reach out to greet the world. Continue to welcome people to our cities, towns and wide-open spaces. And pledge ourselves to inclusivity, compassion and celebrating our differences.

So wherever you might be enjoying Canada Day, whether in a tent or canoe, in a city square, in a backyard, with friends and family, take a moment to consider your country and its place in our world.

There is no better way to celebrate Canada than with a shared hope: That next year we have even more Canadians, each with their unique story and perspective, to celebrate our true north strong and free.