There’s much to be thankful for

We have it good in Langley, B.C. and Canada. There is lots to be grateful for.

We are marking Thanksgiving Day in Canada this weekend, even though it feels more like late summer in this area.

Here are a few things that I am thankful for.

I’m thankful for good health, and for a health care system that, despite its faults, takes pretty good care of most people most of the time.

I’m thankful for freedoms — to vote or not vote; to speak up on issues without being thrown in jail; and to publish in this newspaper and other media outlets almost anything, subject to a few necessary restrictions and to the standards that each media outlet employs.

This freedom now extends to people who can blog on the Internet and say almost anything. While some find that unacceptable, it’s important to remember that those who say the most extreme thingts tend to have very tiny audiences. Most people simply aren’t prepared to read or watch stupid, hateful or extremely one-sided material.

I’m thankful for being able to live in such a wonderful part of Canada. This area is among the most beautiful parts of the world. When the rains keep coming in December and January, we get down a bit, but how about the last two and one-half months? They have more than made up for poorer weather earlier in the spring and summer.

I’m thankful that all levels of government are working to improve transportation and other services to fast-growing areas like Langley. At times, we think they don’t pay attention, but in the long run, the roads, schools, hospitals and other services are in a steady state of improvement.

I’m thankful for Langley Events Centre. This facility is really a crown jewel for this community. It hosts thousands of people each week and captivates every person from out of town the first time they visit.

I’m thankful for our system of free enterprise and business. Langley has many great businesses, some of whom will be honoured at the business excellence awards later this month. The levels of service they offer is exceptional. In the past few weeks, as I’ve dealt with some vehicle issues, I’ve received great service from Langley Toyotatown and Clover Towing. And this isn’t an exception — these businesses and others routinely offer service that is unparalleled.

I’m thankful that many people in this community care about others. The levels of support for the Food Bank, the Gateway of Hope, Langley Community Services and other organizations continue to be good. People in this community are very supportive of others. That should be a hallmark of all Canadians, but it isn’t. Langley is one of the most generous communities I’ve worked in.

I’m thankful that Canada continues to be a nation of immigrants. The infusion of new ideas, innovation, excitement and new ways of doing things is a great thing for a country. Canada has been a success because of immigrants,and thankfully continues to open its doors to many each year.

As a country, we are better off because of that.