September 10, 2022

Remarks at Sikh Motorcycle Ride in Sundre

Sundre, AB

12:50 P.M. MST

GEORGE CHAHAL, M.P.: Good Afternoon

Honoured guests, residents of Sundre.

My name is George Chahal. I am the Liberal Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, home to the Dashmesh Culture Centre. On behalf of our Prime Minister and all Parliamentarians, I want to thank the organizers of this event for taking initiative and showing thoughtful leadership in bringing all of us together to celebrate the town of Sundre, our beautiful province, and the country we are so proud to call home.

I was born and raised in Calgary. I am proud of the residents of this province.  As the children of immigrant parents, we truly understand that Canada is the land of opportunity. Where neighbors look after neighbors. Where we judge each other based on merit. Where we coexist in tolerance and understanding. We have all worked incredibly hard throughout some very challenging years in Alberta.Thanks to our shared effort and collective spirit of hope, we finally have our mojo back. Alberta is doing well economically, our province is affordable, and this is one of the best places in the world for anybody to call home, regardless of ethnocultural background, gender identity, religious beliefs, or professional aspirations.

A few years ago, former Mayor Naheed Nenshi and I were in India to on a trade mission with Calgary Economic Development. As a result of that mission, larges companies have become aware of the qualities that make living and doing business here so attractive. One example is Mphasis: a major multinational IT firm that has established an office in Calgary and is hiring 1000 individuals in well paying jobs.

Last week I was outside of Olds with our Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, visiting a solar farm started by an immigrant family from China producing watermelons, cantaloupes, peppers and eggplants. What an incredible story of a family who came to Canada and through hard work and ingenuity were able to build a successful business, a safe home, and healthy, happy lives. From Claresholm, to Nanton, to Carstairs, to Didsbury, and of course in Sundre, new Canadians from countries like India, the Philippines, China, Nigeria, Somalia, and Pakistan are arriving in small town Alberta, finding work, and opening businesses. They are following in the footsteps of Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and German immigrants who settled in Western Canada generations ago. Folks living on farms, ranches, and in small hamlets and towns across rural Alberta are the backbone of this province. They put food not just on our tables, but on tables around the world. They provide us with the energy to heat our homes. They continue to embody the spirit of pioneers who persevered through challenging times.

As Albertans, we’re in it together. Whether you live in a city of a million, or a hamlet of 15, we’re on Team Alberta, and we need to have each other’s backs. It is unfortunate that every so often, a few misguided individuals – individuals speaking on behalf of themselves alone – damage the reputation of this province by expression intolerance, bigotry, and occasionally rage and hatred. In this age of social media, our actions, good or bad, can be very quickly amplified not just in Alberta but nationally and globally. These are lessons we sometimes learn the hard way. What is most important is that we humbly learn from our mistakes and resolve not to repeat them. Alberta’s future is bright, and every minute I spend outside of this province, I sing our praises. Our province is home to millions of people who just want the best for their families and the people they share a community with.

In closing, I want to talk about how we move forward together. We are so blessed to live in a country where it is acceptable to have individual political beliefs and the freedom to express them. I’m a Liberal Member of Parliament. I know not everybody here will always agree with me politically. But I believe that reasonable disagreement and robust debate is an important part of why Canada is the “True North Strong and Free”. Civil, thoughtful discourse is not just something we should value. It’s something we must fight for, because our nation cannot thrive without it.

There are bad actors are working hard to stoke rage and resentment by dividing us, pitting brothers against brothers and children against parents in the pursuit of power, and at the expense of good government. We must resist the appeal to anger. If we allow ourselves to be divided, our country will suffer. We see this on full display in the United States. The best antidote to fear, misunderstanding, and hatred, is unity and love for humanity. It’s making an effort to learn, understand, and grow, together. As we remember Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, we reflect on her grace, dignity and service. These are qualities that all of us can incorporate in our personal lives as we collectively work for a brighter future.

Thank you.


Office of George Chahal, M.P.

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