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Generosity in Provencher

On July 1, I participated in Canada Day celebrations in Vita and Steinbach.  It was a pleasure to see so many familiar faces and to connect with others for the first time.  We live in a truly great country, and we have so much to celebrate.

Canada turned 149 years-old this past week – a young age compared to many other countries around the world – yet we have one of the most stable and prosperous democracies the world over.  This is no accident. The ideals held by Canadians past and present have made this country worth celebrating.  There are many characteristics I could list here, but I want to focus on one in particular that I believe residents of Provencher are masters of:  generosity.

Generosity is a defining characteristic of southeastern Manitoba.  Whether it’s helping a neighbor experiencing hardship, donating goods to a local foodbank, or providing a financial boost to a favorite charity, southeastern Manitobans recognize the value of helping those who need it most.

This isn’t just one man’s opinion.  To offer an example, Aaron Hutchins, writing for Maclean’s Magazine about figures released by Statistics Canada, wrote:  “The gold standard for generosity in the country-by a long shot-is Steinbach, Man. In the province’s third-largest city, located about 6o km southeast of Winnipeg, the median donation was $1,830 in 2013. That was equal to 6.6 per cent of the median total income in the city. Now compare that with the silver-medal winner, Abbotsford-Mission, B.C., where the median donation was 2.7 per cent of incomes.”

Although this article focused on comparing Canadian cities, smaller communities across southeastern Manitoba are right at the top of the list as well.  But the culture of generosity in southeastern Manitoba extends beyond financial donations.  Over the last number of weeks I have been overwhelmed by the generous support of constituents.  I’m grateful to all who took the time to offer words of encouragement.  It’s an honour to represent a constituency known for its astounding generosity.

As we look forward to celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, let’s be sure to uphold the culture of generosity that makes southeast Manitoba a great place to live.