HAPPY 150TH BIRTHDAY CANADA! The Gale Family has always proudly celebrated every Canada Day. Like so many Canadians, my family is a melting pot of various origins (Italian, English, etc.) but we proudly respond “Canadian” when asked our nationality.

This 150th gives us the opportunity to think about why we are so proud. For me, the answers are many. It was never a question IF I wanted to go to school, become a policeman, own my own business, be a participant on boards or committees where I thought that I could make a difference, and, most recently, become a politician. I could just do it- because this is Canada. I will continue to try to do more – because I love Canada.

I am both a sports and history buff. I consider myself well versed in the past of the Niagara Region and, when asked, I was extremely pleased to provide financial support to the Niagara Falls History Museum and the celebrations surrounding the anniversary of the War of 1812. The Gale Centre naming opportunity gave me the opportunity to support sports for all ages in Niagara. I have received awards such as the Red Cross “Power of Humanity”, a Rotarian “Paul Harris” award, and even the most prestigious offer an African Masaii Tribe can make: a bull for helping to build a school in Kenya. However I wish to not be judged by these – because I had the opportunity to help due to my family, friends, and country’s support.

My wife, Vera, our children, and now grandchildren enjoy travelling the world. Without exception we are asked “where are you from?” and when we point to the flag pin on our shirts and respond “Canada” we always hear “Canada! That’s a beautiful country. I want to go there one day!” On some of these trips we have seen the ruins of political warfare (physical or legislative); poverty; massive unemployment and the inability of citizens to openly express their views or wishes. Trust me when I say – it’s those times when you are seriously thankful that you will go home to Canada.

My grandchildren – being Canadian means I do not have to worry that they will be drafted to war, they will receive the health care they need, will realize their potential in their careers, and receive other’s diversities with openness and respect – really, the possibilities open to them are endless. I cannot imagine this is not what all parents and grandparents want for their families as well! That is what Canada offers us all.

What is your favourite place in Canada?
Right here, in Niagara Falls!

Where is one place you have not been to in Canada that you would like to see?
Well, I’ve been everywhere but Churchill, Manitoba, so I’d love to go there to see polar bears.