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Be proud as our great country celebrates 150

The Barrie Examiner

The 150th anniversary of Confederation is a pivotal milestone for our nation.

Indeed, knowing and appreciating our history provides the best way for all Canadians to come together and take pride in our national identity.

All across the country, families, friends and communities are coming together at special Canada 150 events and I’m thrilled to join all Canadians in celebrating the best country in the world on our 150th birthday.

Canadians enjoy July 1 in many different ways, but Canada Day is, first and foremost, a day to celebrate the country we know and love.

Confederation came into existence when Queen Victoria gave Royal Assent to the British North America Act in March 1867. On June 20, 1868, the governor general, Lord Monck, signed a proclamation calling on everyone in Canada to join in the celebration of the first anniversary of the formation of the union on July 1.

In 1879, the July 1 holiday was established under the name Dominion Day.

As new provinces and territories joined Canada, Dominion Day became increasingly celebrated across the country.

On Oct. 27, 1982, Dominion Day officially became known as Canada Day.

Many Canadians still remember Canada’s centennial in 1967, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attended a large-scale celebration on Parliament Hill.

For Canada’s 150th, Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles and Camilla, will make a visit to Canada to celebrate our important milestone.

While we reflect on a rich and proud 150 years of history, let’s think of those who are working so hard to uphold the very values and freedoms we hold dear. Many of our brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed around the world are exemplifying what it means to be Canadian, and we couldn’t be more proud.

Let us also recognize those who have bravely, and selflessly, stood on guard for our nation. Regardless of our political allegiances or philosophical beliefs, Canadians all share a common admiration and respect for Canada’s veterans. They are the tie that binds the citizens of this great country together.

On a personal note, I often think of the sacrifices made by so many to allow me the privilege of being a member of Parliament and the opportunity to sit in our symbol of democracy, the Parliament of Canada. I do not take that privilege for granted.

The fathers of Confederation like Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier and others may be credited as the architects of Canada, but over the years, it’s been the hard-working everyday folks like you that give our great country its true heart and soul.

I encourage everyone to take part in the many events going on right here in our community of Barrie-Innisfil and to celebrate everything that makes us uniquely Canadian.

On behalf of my family, Liane, Jeffrey, Courtney, Matthew and Mitchell, happy Canada 150 to you and your family.