October 3, 2003
I’ve just returned from visiting the B.C. Interior and the Maritimes where I had the incredible chance to witness communities pulling together to rebuild their homes, businesses and neighbourhoods.
In the West, fires ravaged wooded communities and reduced homes to cinders and ashes. And in the East, Hurricane Juan wreaked havoc on urban centres and farmland.
What was incredible for me to see was how, despite the fact that these devastated regions are separated by thousands of kilometres, they are completely in sync in terms of their indomitable team spirit – especially when facing these challenging circumstances.
It’s been a tough year for Canadians: We’ve faced mad cow in Alberta and droughts in the West, the closure of the cod fisheries on the Atlantic Coast and SARS in central Canada. Yet in the face of these issues, the Canadian spirit has manifested itself – and showed tremendous courage.
I have realized that these stories are emblematic of the energy that Canadians embody across this landscape. There is no doubt that communities are acting with great faith to overcome challenges today. And this is drawing the whole country closer together.
That’s the kind of energy the federal government has to tap into. That is why I want to work more closely with communities and provinces to help bring this spirit to forefront.