Celebrating a great nation of fine people
Occasionally, I make the (accurate) observation that the weeks leading up to Canada Day are to elected officials what the Christmas season is to the clergy. It is a time filled with weddings, graduations, picnics, barbecues, annual meetings, celebrations and flag raisings. It is a time when Canadians remind themselves of what a great nation we have become, and what fine people we are. We may not be perfect, but we are less imperfect than other nations and other peoples. And in life, we compare ourselves not with the almighty, but with the alternative.
Everyone who has taught young people in school or in post-secondary knows what fine and dedicated Canadians our nation’s youth are. And with Canada’s ability to continue to attract the best and brightest from everywhere on earth, we remain a young nation.
Graduations show what a whole generation of eager young Canadians can do. I especially enjoyed the graduation ceremony for Our Lady of Mount Carmel, where some 460 students received their secondary school diploma and other honours. Principal Patricia Romero has a nice philosophy for the occasion: they rent the Hershey Centre so that no student is restricted to how many guests he or she may bring. Whole families can heartily cheer on their newly-minted graduate.
Catholic Trustees Esther O’Toole and Peter Ferreira and I simply cannot all be in many different places at the same time during the end-of-June graduation week, so we have agreed that at some graduations, the trustee will bring the Province’s greetings while across town, I will bring the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board’s greetings. Brad Butt, George Carlson, Pat Saito and I frequently cooperate in this fashion at other events during the year. On Canada Day, we can reflect on our good fortune to work together as a team on behalf of the people who have selected us in separate elections. Mississauga is a good place to work for the neighbours in this way. Not all places enjoy this type of harmonious multi-level working relationship.