RICHMOND HILL – Hello everyone! I’m Leona Alleslev, your Member of Parliament for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill.


As your Federal Government representative, I am thrilled to welcome the SESQUI Cinematic Dome Tour to Richmond Hill. As a selected Canada 150 Signature project, our Government invested $10.5 million in SESQUI because of its innovation in filmmaking and the incredible contribution it would make to celebrating Canada.


As the second largest country in the world at 9.9 million square kilometers, many Canadians don’t have the chance to explore the magnitude of our great nation. SESQUI gives us the opportunity to virtually “travel” across the country and experience the wonders of our Canadian landscape while also reflecting on what it truly means to be Canadian.


As someone who has lived in almost every province in our country, and traveled all over the world, I can say without a doubt that Canada, our home, is awe inspiring and one of the most beautiful places in the world.


From coast to coast to coast, Canada is defined by its diverse natural beauty – from the Canadian Rockies in the west, to the Arctic Tundra in the north, to the Great Lakes and Canadian shield here in Ontario, and to the Appalachian Mountains in the east.


And our citizens are a reflection of our landscape – diverse, awe inspiring and beautiful.

To be Canadian means: – acceptance, diversity, respect, humility… Being Canadian means to be gracious, considerate and to cherish that we are stronger because of our differences not in spite of them.


We are Global Citizens…. And Canada is known for our values…our vibrant multiculturalism, our commitment to innovative thinking and environmental protection, our diversity, and so much more. It is these values which are our strength at home and one of the greatest things we bring to the world.

The world values Canada and our contributions, and it is because of who we are as Canadians that we can stand proud of all that our country has accomplished.


The 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation is a time to look back on what we’ve achieved in our history, and to embrace the values we share as a nation. This year we unite as Canadians, and together we can imagine a vision – a big bold vision – of what our country can become. Canada 150 inspires all of us to be part of something bigger than ourselves as we build the country for the next 150 years.


I would like to thank SESQUI, the creators of the HORIZONS film, the Town of Richmond Hill and everyone who made this event possible for being a part of that vision. This is an invaluable experience that allows us to celebrate all that is Canada, and to remind us of just how important we are as Canadians in shaping not only our great country, but also the contribution we make to the world.


Thank you.