As we all celebrated Canada Day this year in some new and different ways, I was truly touched by the incredible folks that included me in their events.
I was reminded by many new Canadians celebrating their very first Canada Day how very fortunate we are to live in this amazing country, and moreover to see though their eyes, the possibilities, and the excitement even given the crisis we are in both fiscally, and because of COVID-19.
I was privileged to spend time with the Multicultural Youth Society of Chestermere, led by our very own Satish Lal. I was so honoured to spend time with the Dawoodi Bohra community where we were treated to a beautiful online celebration and embraced like family. We then attended a celebration at the Green Dome Mosque where we were joined by members of the Calgary Police Service along with their diversity and inclusion unit who like me were very moved by the truly loving reception we received from the community gathered there.
We then went to the Delacour General Store to meet up with the fabulous owner. We were able to get our fill of Girl Guide cookies which will sustain us as we have some late nights ahead of us at the legislature. Please make sure you pop into Delacour to support this wonderful local business. The following night I was able to attend the incredible fireworks in Strathmore. What I also realized as the day went on is that many people who are new to our country wanted to know more about how Canada became a country, and why we celebrate on July 1st. We had some great discussions, and what was apparent is that we can never tell our story too many times.
One of the best parts of our Canadian story is that we are made up of so many cultures, and the stories of sacrifice of many who left their land of their birth to come to this amazing country are inspiring. Many have left behind family and friends to pursue their dreams.
We have an incredible history full of resilience, and pain. We have stories of strength, and we have also made some terrible mistakes as a nation.
We honour those who created this country, but we also take responsibility for the violations of human dignity perpetuated by our governments of the day. It is through these stories that we begin to understand how we got here, and who we are. On July 1, Dominion Day, in 1867, the British North America Act was created. Did you know that all the provinces that now make up Canada did not join confederation at the same time? The first four jurisdictions to join confederation were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec. British Columbia joined in 1871, in 1873 Prince Edward Island joined. Alberta, which was called Rupert’s Land and was owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company, joined in 1905. Newfoundland did not join confederation until 1949! The Northwest Territories joined as an established territory in 1999.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Honourable Lois Mitchell for her incredible work as our 18th Lieutenant Governor. It has been such a privilege for me to be able to work side by side with this incredible woman. Congratulations to the newly appointed Salma Lakhani. There is so much more to share! In the meantime, Happy belated Canada Day everyone!