Blaine Calkins
Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe

2017-07 (July)

MP Report
Canada at 150

Our nation is a country united in the pursuit of an ideal, it is a country founded on opportunity by determined people. Our Fathers of Confederation were determined
in their pursuit of a strong and free Canada, a diverse nation with hope and the respect for the rule of law.

Canada is a nation of immigrants and those coming to Canada faced tremendous obstacles in order to set foot on Pier 21 to start a new life in Canada. Thomas D’Arcy
McGee, one of our Fathers of Confederation and a skilled orator spoke about a national united vision during the Confederation debates. He said, “I see in the not remote
distance one great nationality bound like the shield of Achilles, by the blue rim of ocean...I see within the ground of that shield the peaks of the western mountains and the crests
of the eastern waves.” Those coming to Canada persevered through great difficulties to build a life for their families in e western peaks and on the banks of the eastern crests.  

Canada is a nation that has never run from any enemy and continually reaches higher than expected. Whether it was at Vimy Ridge, the battle of Passchendaele or
commanding the allied forces in Afghanistan to restore democracy; Canadians have fought against tyranny whenever called upon by our global allies. The sacrifice from these men
and women affords us the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. Their courage has provided the blanket of freedom we so cherish and that makes us the envy around the world.

The world also has benefited greatly from the innovations of great Canadians. Canada has a deep history of innovation that should be celebrated but is often overlooked.
Canadian innovation led to the telephone, the Blackberry, the game of basketball or the goalie mask. Canadians also created the artificial pacemaker, insulin, and the Canadarm
used on space missions. The innovative designs Canadians have given the world has ever changed the world, we need to encourage our youth to pursue their inventions. 

Canada is not a perfect nation; our history is bookmarked with pages of actions from people that are not flattering. It is the reaction of the leadership and the citizenry
that defines a nation. Canada is ever working to repair the relationships with our Indigenous people, we are fighting for equality rights for all Canadians, and while there is still work to do,
Canada is that nation built on the pursuit of an ideal and I am proud to tell our Canadian story no matter where in the world I may find myself.

July 1st is Canada’s day, it is our day to celebrate and embrace the ideal our Fathers of Confederation fought and died for. 150 years ago, some great people had a vision of what Canada
could be. Please take time this Canada Day while gathering with family and your loved ones to remember the sacrifices made those fighting for our freedoms. Take time to bask in all that
is great about Canada and be mindful of our missteps. Mostly, celebrate our nation as the shining light we are in a complex world. 

Happy Canada Day!

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Blaine Calkins - Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe