A Call to Greatness

By Mazankowski, Donald | Canadian Speeches, May-June 2003 | Go to article overview
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A Call to Greatness


Mazankowski, Donald, Canadian Speeches


Canadians are called on to realize the greatness of Canada -- politically, socially and economically; at home and on the global stage. Award acceptance speech at the Public Policy Forum 16th annual testimonial dinner, Toronto, April 10, 2003.

I come from small town rural Canada.

What inspires me most about this great nation is that regardless of who you are; where you live; what you do, we all have an opportunity to make a difference; to influence decisions; to shape policy, and to seek and hold public office.

As one who has had the honour of being elected by the people of one's community over a span of 25 years; having walked up the steps of the peace tower and taken one's seat in the House of Commons for the first time; having experienced the pride and exhilaration of these extra-ordinary moments, I can tell you, one cannot help but feel a deep sense of humility and gratitude for the privilege of Canadian citizenship, which makes this all possible. Indeed, it is our citizenship which is one of the great gifts we enjoy that we sometime take for granted.

We do live in a great country, a land of opportunity richly endowed with much to offer. We are unique, diverse, resourceful and together we have transformed many of our challenges into strengths. This is something we should celebrate!

Instead, all too often, we hear too much about what's wrong with Canada and not enough about what is right. We hear too much pessimism and not enough optimism. We hear too much about internal tension and conflict and not enough about co-operation and accomplishment. We hear doubts about our role in world affairs. And we even hear questions about our ability to survive as an independent nation. This occurs at a time when Canada is leading--not-following--a significant range of economic and social indicators.

Clearly we have much to be proud of and we need to assert our greatness each and every day.

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