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Premier’s statement reflecting on Canada Day

CANADA, July 1 - Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement to recognize Canada Day:

“After one of the most challenging periods in our history, many people are coming together again to celebrate Canada Day at community events and backyard barbecues across the country.

“As we do, it is important we reflect on this place we call home – its past and its future – to recognize all we have to be grateful for and all we must do together to build a better Canada that works for everyone.

“We are fortunate to live in one of the most welcoming countries on the planet. People from all over the world come to Canada in search of a better life for themselves and their families. But there is a lot more we need to do to break down barriers and end systemic discrimination that is a lived reality for many. Central to that work is confronting the dark truths of our colonial history so that we can move forward through reconciliation and partnership with Indigenous Peoples, many of whom have been on this land since time immemorial.

“At our best, Canada is a place where we take care of our neighbours, no matter who they are or how much money they have in their pocket. There is no greater expression of this than our universal public health-care system, which provides Canadians with the life-saving care they need without having to take out a credit card. A global pandemic has exposed underlying gaps and added additional strains. To ensure that strong public health care is there for future generations will require a renewed partnership between governments.

“As Canadians, we enjoy a vast landscape of natural beauty and resources, from mountains ranges and beautiful coastlines, to rich farmland and abundant forests. While a rapidly changing climate is putting these things we cherish most at risk, if we act now with the urgency required, we can reduce the most severe effects and become a global leader in the emerging clean energy economy.

“This is the country we celebrate today, a place that is special, not because we are perfect, but because we are always striving to make progress and life better for people.

“Over the past few years, we have shown how much we can accomplish if we reject division and work together in common purpose. That’s why I have never been more optimistic about our future than I am right now. Together, I know we will continue to build a stronger and more inclusive Canada – where everyone feels like they belong and no one gets left behind.”