View From the Legislature

A Country Worth Celebrating!

  • Kelvin Goertzen, Author
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly, Steinbach

This past weekend Canadians across our country celebrated Canada’s 151st birthday.

For me personally, Canada Day is always an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Canadian and to be thankful for the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. They are freedoms that are still not enjoyed in many countries in the world. Canada Day is also an opportunity to be thankful to the many people who helped build our country and to defend its freedoms. The country we enjoy today is due largely because of those who came before us and we are entrusted to work to ensure our children enjoy the same freedoms and opportunity that we have benefited from.

While Canada is often thought of around the world for symbols such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or for our love of hockey, Canadians have come to appreciate a much deeper meaning of what it is to be Canadian. We have become a nation of builders, along with our significant reliance on trade. We have long been welcoming to immigrants and today we share the values of freedom and democracy around the world. And as we leave our imprint on the world, we do it with our trademark Canadian politeness.

These national traits are found in our own local region as well. The southeast has grown into a region that is industrious and generous with a rich heritage in faith and freedom. Canada Day was celebrated with history at our local Mennonite Heritage Village Museum which also reflected the many new Canadians that have come to our country. Families celebrated together in local parks with picnics and than gathered at the soccer park to watch the fireworks display. And while it is some time away, it is not too early to begin to look forward to another important anniversary to celebrate.

Most will remember that last year was Canada’s sesquicentennial, which marked 150 years as a nation. Fittingly, 2020 will mark Manitoba’s own 150th anniversary. And just as Canada has matured into an independent and strong nation there is much to celebrate as Manitoba approaches its 150th birthday as well. Our province has grown into a diversified and multi-cultural province while still maintaining strong agricultural and traditional roots.

Whether celebrating Canada’s 151st birthday or looking forward to Manitoba’s 150th, there is much to be proud of. We are fortunate to live in one of the greatest countries in the world and a wonderful province. And while we set aside specific days to celebrate, we should try to remember every day how fortunate we are to live in this country and province. It really is worth celebrating every day!