The first Europeans came to this land in search of riches and established trade relationships with the Indigenous peoples they met. They were followed by the fishermen who came to fill their hulls off the East coast, and later to permanent settlers that saw so much potential in this land. Eventually, visionary businessmen built the railroad that would connect people from sea to sea, changing a loose association of provinces into a country.
Businesspeople banded together and collaborated, creating chambers of commerce. The first chamber in North America was founded in Halifax in 1750. Today, there are local chambers of commerce or boards of trade in many communities across Canada; some which even predate Canada as a country. And this holiday weekend, in many communities, chambers will play a role in the festivities – hosting events such as pancake breakfasts, barbecues or guiding visitors to the best beach or the best attraction in the region.
We are proud of the community connections that we have across our country and we know, that through them, we celebrate all that is good about Canada. Our community chamber network is at work this weekend, and every other day of the year, to create communities where businesses can thrive and support families.
And that’s what being Canadian is all about.
So as we celebrate the last 150 years and look back on everything we’ve accomplished as a country, we are right to feel a deep sense of pride. We know there’s still work to do, reflections to be had and improvements to be brought to our country to make it more competitive and stronger still. These are the efforts that will lead to the next 150 years of Canadian business success, and we know these efforts will be led by the businesspeople of our country.
So as you prepare to party like it’s 1867, take the time over the next few days to reflect and also to celebrate. But for now, don that red T-shirt, wave that Canadian flag, and enjoy the company of friends and family on this special day and weekend.
Happy Canada Day!