Every year on Canada Day I remind myself how fortunate I am to call myself a Canadian.

47 years ago my family went from being Ugandans to being stateless overnight.  We lost everything. We lost our belongings, we lost our homes and, most of all, we lost our country.

That is when Canadian people stepped up and welcomed my family along with thousands of other Ugandan Asians with open arms.

When our own country had abandoned us, you welcomed us into yours. For that I will always be grateful.

There is no doubt that we live in a great country. Canada is a place where diversity flourishes, and we see strength in our differences.

We know diversity and adversity can be catalysts for greatness, and in Canada we proudly provide the foundation people need to create a better future for themselves and, in turn, create a better Canada.

To quote our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

Let us not close our hearts to those in need, nor our minds to the knowledge that better is always possible.

We are, after all, Canadian.

Let’s show the world the very best of what that means.

From my family to yours, happy Canada Day!