First off, I’d like to express how very honoured I am to serve and to work with you all and to be the voice of Davenport in the House of Commons. It has been a year of big changes for the country. For the first time in its history the NDP is the Official Opposition! Alas, less than two months after that historic election we tragically lost our brother and leader Jack Layton. As devastating as that was for so many Canadians, through his death we learned that we have in our country a very deep yearning for and a very strong foundation on which to build the kind of country Jack spoke of–one that is fairer, more balanced and more just. A Canada where no one gets left behind.
Indeed, for the first time in at least a generation we have a government in waiting that accurately reflects the true scope of regional diversity, experiences, hopes and dreams of our country. For the first time in two decades the majority of the people of Quebec opted for a federalist party. I can’t stress how important this fact is—that we are sitting at the same table with our Quebec brothers and sisters and working together on how we build a fairer, more just Canada and Quebec.
And so while we see governments in Ottawa, Queen’s Park and at City Hall attempting to break down public institutions that for generations we have, as citizens painstakingly built up, we also see a real hunger and renewed commitment on the part of Canadians across the country to work that much harder to see Jack’s vision for our country realized.
This brings me a lot of hope for the New Year. So don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
I wish you all the best for the holidays and the New Year.