Celebrating Canada's 150th

A reminder of the importance of community

Publié le 5 juillet 2017

Huntingdon MNA Stéphane Billette joined magician John Martin on stage for a trick during an afternoon magic show.

©Sarah Rennie

The 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation was commemorated this past weekend with an unabashed celebration across the entire country. In many ways, what we witnessed collectively was the setting aside of our regional differences and the coming together of thousands of communities.

In the Haut-Saint-Laurent, we saw five municipalities work together to ensure the best Canada Day celebration possible was held. And, with the Branches and Roots Music Festival in Ormstown, the Valley was alive with music. In many ways, this weekend exhibited all that is great about small communities.

A recurring theme to this year's celebration however was a stark reminder there is much work to be done in solidifying our national sense of belonging and community. The call to recognize and reconcile our indigenous populations resonated from Capital Hill to the Valley, as we were reminded we were celebrating 150 years of the Canadian state, but this land we call home and its people go back so much further.

As was also demonstrated on Roxam Road in Hemmingford, there is work to do in upholding the belief in Canada as a tolerant country. The protest against asylum seekers by far right ultranationalist groups on Saturday was thankfully met by a welcoming force, including many locals, who stood against intolerance and fear.

Canada 150 is a reminder that despite being a young country, we are among the most respected and reputable in the world. We need to keep working. We need to ensure our communities grow stronger in their diversity, their acceptance and their warmth. As a jubilant celebration of community, Canada Day is, and hopefully will remain, a reason to be proud.