The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Saturday, September 23, 2017 – 9:30 a.m.
Friends of the Canadian Red Cross, friends of humanity, members of the Tiffany Circle – welcome to Manitoba and this celebration of leadership and philanthropy.
We are gathered here on Treaty One territory, on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Métis people.
We are meeting in a place that is central to our history as Canadians and to our vision of the kind of country and world we wish to create.
Here at the Forks the confluence of the Red and the Assiniboine Rivers, people have come together to trade and to share stories for thousands of years. To a very large extent, Western Canada was born here.
And here, with the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Manitobans and Canadians have expressed their commitment to the rights of all people to live in freedom and dignity.
So what a wonderful place this is for the Tiffany Circle to hold an anniversary event.
Those of you who toured this museum yesterday will have gone through an emotional journey as you walked through the various galleries.
It’s a journey through the most horrifying times in human history. And it’s a journey that leads to a place of inspiration, as the visitor ends up exploring galleries with names like Inspiring Change and Actions Count.
As members of the Tiffany Circle who have made major commitments to the Canadian Red Cross, you have all demonstrated that actions do, indeed, count.
Over the years, I have had the good fortune to work with many people whose actions have counted for a great deal.
In my involvement with CancerCare Manitoba and the Heart and Stroke Foundation and other organizations, I have worked with philanthropists and volunteers who dedicate a great deal of their time and resources to research and health care treatment.
In my time as Lieutenant Governor I’ve had the pleasure of meeting countless volunteers who support education, culture, sports, youth activities and community services.
These philanthropists and volunteers have ranged in age from single digits to triple. They have supported worthwhile causes in many ways with their own skills and abilities and resources.
But what they’ve all had in common is the belief that it’s not enough to feel you ought to do something. You have to actually do it. Actions count. When the opportunity comes to help others, you have to be ready to say “Yes.”
Each of you has said “Yes” to the opportunity to support the Canadian Red Cross in a very substantial way.
Thanks to you, when the need arises – when thousands of people in northern Manitoba First Nations need temporary accommodations because of a forest fire, as happened here just a few days, weeks ago – the Canadian Red Cross is able to say “Yes.”
Every act of caring and compassion made possible by your generosity serves to inspire others to say “yes” to community in their own way.
Thank you for your leadership and thank you for answering the call.