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Canadians blessed to live in best country, says PM Harper in Canada Day message

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canadians are "blessed to live in the best country in the world," and in his annual statement marking Canada Day, he says that good fortune is not an accident.Harper says it is the result of visionary leaders, courageous men and women in uniform, waves of industrious immigrants, decorated athletes who unite us and Canada’s families.He says there are "moms and dads, sons and daughters who work hard every day, in their own way, to help make Canada a better, stronger, more prosperous country."The prime minister's statement calls on Canadians to "celebrate the people who make Canada great" and to rededicate themselves to the service of the country.Harper was set to join Gov. Gen David Johnston and other dignitaries on Parliament Hill for a noon show celebrating the country's 148th birthday.Rain and thunderstorms were forecast for Ottawa throughout the day.The annual Canada Day show on the main stage in front of the Peace Tower was set to feature pop artists including Kiesza, Magic and Shad.NDP Leader Tom Mulcair's Canada Day statement hinted at the election on the horizon. He was expected to attend events Wednesday across the Greater Toronto Area, a critical campaign battleground."We have many reasons to be proud to be Canadian, but much work remains to be done," Mulcair said."The NDP has a clear vision to build a more sustainable society. Canadians can count on the NDP to bring concrete proposals to Ottawa to make life more affordable for families and make Canada a fairer country."Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was also spending the day in the GTA and southwestern Ontario. He issued a holiday statement that lauded Canada as "a place of fairness and of opportunity; a place where people from every imaginable country and culture, who speak every language, live and work, and build and thrive together."Trudeau added: "We are stronger not in spite of our differences, but precisely because of them. For much of the world, Canada represents the most hopeful vision of what the future can look like."

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