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Posted on July 6, 2017
By Paul Born

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What a summer it has been. I am currently on a summer break to rest and reflect and am feeling pretty grateful to our board, Liz Weaver (Acting President) and our team for giving me this opportunity. As you can imagine, getting some extended time away can make one optimistic. I am finding it pretty easy to smile these days. 

Canada Day at 150 made us all a little bit prouder about this great country we live in. It is brilliant seeing so many happy faces and hearing the words of our leaders and citizens as they reflect on what a great country we are. The many celebrations in communities across the country reminds us how diverse and yet how similar we are.  

Here are five things that make me proud about living in Canada. As the son of refugees I am so grateful to be part of this 150 year evolving experiment.  

  1. I live in Waterloo, Ontario and on Canada Day our family, with friends, always go to watch the fireworks. It is a great event that seems to bring our entire community into one place. What brought a special smile to my face this year was the diversity of the people attending. It seems like people from countries throughout the world were gathering, in fact they were. Canada is a multicultural society and I am pretty sure this is the thing I love most about our country. 

  2. We want to end poverty:‎ our Federal government has made poverty reduction a national priority. We will have a federal strategy very soon. 

  3. Paying a living wage‎:  we have a national movement brewing that will see better jobs for all. I am so proud of living wage cities and most proud of Alberta and Ontario for moving toward a $15 an hour minimum wage. For me this is a dream come true. 

  4. We talk a lot about caring: our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a wonderful speech on Canada Day at the celebrations in Ottawa. He echoed what so many were saying across the country. We need to open our hearts to those in need and work together to build a better Canada. 

  5.  We can embrace our mistakes: one of things that made me most proud as we celebrated Canada 150 was the way people openly talked about our country's shameful history with our aboriginal, native, Indigenous, Meti and Inuit people. There were peaceful protests, many front page stories and deliberate attempts to rebrand our celebration. The one I loved the most was in Vancouver where aboriginal leaders and city officals came up with Canada 150 plus. A wonderful expression of hope for the future of our country.   

At Tamarack we are also thrilled to be celebrating our 15th year. In a very small way, like you, we are part of what is making Canada an amazing place to live. 

I would love to hear your top five prouds about Canada. Make my summer and send me an email I would love to hear from you.

Much joy and Happy Canada 150 plus to you.

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Community Engagement, Articles, Paul Born, Canada

Paul Born

By Paul Born

Paul Born grew up as the son of Mennonite refugees. This is what has made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good. Paul is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute and the Founder and Director of Vibrant Communities. He is the author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers. Paul is a global faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) and a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.

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