Released on December 13, 2016
I love Christmas time in Saskatchewan.
A blanket of snow. Lights. Festivities. And humanity often at its finest.
Like so many, our family will come together to celebrate, to reflect on the year gone by and to talk about the road ahead, as we enjoy our own Christmas traditions.
We will enjoy food and treats… likely far more than is needed.
Hopefully we'll burn some of that off enjoying the outdoors - snow shoeing, tobaganning, playing some outdoor hockey ,and getting out for some ice fishing.
Stephanie and I look so forward to sharing this Christmas with our two-year-old son, who's very excited for the season.
It's also important to us to instill in him, what Christmas is really all about.
That it's about so much more than presents under a tree.
That it's more about giving, than receiving.
And that the celebration of Jesus’ birth, serves as a reminder to share his message of peace, love, and goodwill.
A reminder of the need to put these values into action throughout the year.
These reminders… these lessons… underpin that strong sense of community and compassion that has built the province we all love.
these values, which are shared by many faiths and many peoples, are on full display everyday by so many across Saskatchewan.
They are why we look out for the most vulnerable among us.
Why we look out for those who are suffering.
So, while we find valued time to come together during the holidays to celebrate and share our blessings.
We must never forget that there are those who are unable to gather and are left alone, even during this special time - without peace, love, happiness or health.
We must never forget that looking back on the past year, means dealing with hardships for so many.
Sad and tragic losses. Despair and darkness. Struggles and strain.
We think too of those who have suffered, through natural disasters, war, or acts of violence, abuse, racism, or any forms of hate.
From this, we strengthen our resolve and efforts for peace on earth, human rights and justice must be strong.
That we should do all we can to extend hope and opportunity, both afar and at home.
That we must each do our part to bring a little more peace, happiness and love to one another.
And so many, do just that,
The Canadian Forces member that serves our nation to help establish peace and security,
The teacher or coach that goes the extra mile to help a child in darkness find peace of mind and safety,
The volunteer that steps up to help those fleeing violence and insecurity find stability and opportunity,
The neighbour that checks in on the isolated senior offering help and company.
The people of a community that pitch in to rebuild their community rink.
These are but a few examples, of what people from Saskatchewan do throughout the year to make lives better in ways small and large.
It's what we do in Saskatchewan.
Because we know that we are all in this together.
And this, is the spirit of Christmas.
However, you choose to celebrate this season, I hope it’s a special one - filled with joy and laughter.
On behalf of myself, my wife Stephanie, our son William, the Official Opposition, Saskatchewan New Democrats, I wish all celebrating, a very Merry Christmas, and I wish all the best of the season.
And health, happiness and opportunity in the new year.
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