MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
Many Reasons to Celebrate on Canada’s 141st Birthday
As I celebrated Canada Day with the residents of Prince George at Fort George Park this year, the sense of national pride I revel in each July 1st was even stronger. On this 141st year since Confederation, there are so many reasons to rejoice in a nation that strives to nurture strong, peaceful communities both for its own citizens and for people in need around the world.
2008 is an especially important year as we mark historic anniversaries across Canada, from Nova Scotia’s 250th anniversary of the establishment of representative government, one of the world’s first democracies, to the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City to our proud commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Crown Colony of British Columbia.
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Given that particular occasion, it is especially rewarding that residents of northeastern British Columbia can delight in our own growing influence within the federal and provincial governments.
BC’s voice in federal cabinet was amplified last week when I was joined by MP James Moore, as the newly-appointed Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and the 2010 Olympics.
And the previous week, northeastern BC’s influential role at the provincial cabinet table was expanded. Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom earned a well-deserved appointment as Minister of Community Development. As MLA of a provincial riding hit hard by the current downturn in the forest sector, Prince George North’s Pat Bell is especially prepared for his new role as Minister of Forests.
Peace River North’s Richard Neufeld, as Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, and Prince George-Mount Robson’s Shirley Bond, as Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, will both continue to act as strong advocates for our region’s specific interests and industries.
Our region now has all four of its MLAs and its MP representing our regional interests at their respective cabinet tables.
At Canada Day events across the country this year, communities large and small took special care to express their pride in the Canadian Forces. Canada has always had a proud reputation as a nation that strives to “make a difference” and our brave men and women in uniform are making a positive difference in lives of people throughout the world, including in Afghanistan.
And the Canadian Government’s efforts to fight discrimination and uphold human rights in Canada and around the globe were officially recognized on the eve of Canada Day when Prime Minister Stephen Harper became the first Canadian to receive the B’nai Brith International President’s Gold Medallion.
Canada has once again taken its well-earned place on the world stage. We are standing up for Canadian interests. We are doing what is right.
We are defending our Arctic. We are taking the lead in opposing the world’s most oppressive rogue states. We are helping many of the world’s most impoverished areas rebuild and develop into self-sustaining, stable countries.
We are able to do this by securing our own stability and building strong communities here at home … a land of 33 million hardworking and dedicated people with compassion and the spirit to succeed.
I have never been prouder to be Canadian! Happy Canada Day.