“O Canada, our home and native land”: these words, accompanied by lyrical music, resonate deeply in the mind and heart of every Canadian. From the western shore of Vancouver Island to the awesome eastern cliffs of Newfoundland, the dominion of Canada includes us all and is justly governed by a parliamentary democracy that honors both unity and difference today.
Our country welcomed First Nations People, the first to settle on this land, born out of the struggle and companionship of our French/English ancestors. This proud bilingual country has proclaimed her identity from the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia; to the awesome wonder of Banff Hot Springs and Lake Louise; to the amazement of polar ice caps in the North; to the mighty St. Lawrence River, which brings wonder and fresh water to its people.
Often remembered as a people of song, this bilingual family has given to its country and the world:
- The poetic ballads of Leonard Cohen of Montreal
- The folk lyrics of Shania Twain from Kirkland Lake
- The voice of poet and song writer Gordon Lightfoot
- The liberating voice of Gord Downie of Kingston
- The sounds of k.d. lang, Anne Murray, John Allan Cameron and many more
- The home of the fastest game on ice, Hockey Night in Canada sounds familiar to every Canadian
Our country has been prophetically governed by great statesmen of yesterday and today. Among them are John A. MacDonald, Wilfred Laurier, Lester B. Pearson, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Jean Chrestian, and Justin Trudeau today. Each has a proud legacy and story to tell about a people who for many years have proclaimed, “Je me souviens” and the “Maple leaf forever.”
Canada tells the world its story of a multi-cultural mosaic. From the Iroquois, Chippewa, Potawatoni, and Métis to the immigration of the French and English, we forged a bilingual nation of both inclusion and distinct identity. This great dominion was born from the cooperative movement of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, to the social gospel initiative of the West, and became a beacon of hospitality and purpose for all who venture to its shores.
Canada is a place of health care for all. We give great thanks to Reverend Tommy Douglas, a member of the United Church of Canada and former Premier of Manitoba, who brought it to his province, only to see it spread across the country. Yes, our home and native land, born into being in 1867, ventures forth today, a place of patriot love and a home for all who cherish Canada.