On July 1, 1867 Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada were proclaimed the Dominion of Canada. With this proclamation, the Province of Canada became Quebec and Ontario, although it would be many years before all provinces and territories joined Canada – the last being Newfoundland. Our road to nationhood was a long one, and not without its challenges and tragedies. And although our past with the people native to this country has been troubled, our nation is awakening to the power of a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples. This is the country my parents left the Netherlands for after World War II, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity Canada provided to my family.
On Canada Day, let us celebrate the wonderful place we call home and the people with whom we share it. Our nation is built on key, fundamental values of respect, kindness, and equality. As we continue to work together to move past the pandemic, we must do so with these fundamental values in mind. What makes Canada special is not the belief that this is the best country in the world, but the knowledge that we could be.
We must recognize that we have differences, and that how we reach our potential as a nation has many options. But, on our journey, let us be mindful that the values of our nation must be open and shared with all Canadians. This Canada Day, let us reflect on our differences, and use them to build our strengths. We will always be better and stronger together.
Happy Canada Day Newmarket-Aurora!