The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – 5:00 p.m.
Health advocates and professionals, volunteers and visionaries, members and friends of Parkinson Canada – welcome to Government House for this recognition of Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
We are gathered here on Treaty One territory, on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Métis people.
Really we are gathered to celebrate the dedication of a group of volunteers who have set an example of creativity, compassion and hard work in their efforts to support research, treatment and support for people affected by Parkinson’s Disease.
This year, during Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we are also commemorating the 200th anniversary of the diagnosis of what came to be called Parkinson’s disease.
Generations of scientists and health professionals have dedicated themselves to improving the outlook for individuals with what Dr. James Parkinson originally called Shaking Palsy.
Though many treatments have been developed to help with symptoms, there is, no cure. And today some 6,500 Manitobans have been diagnosed with the disease.
Hope for improved treatment, and perhaps someday, a cure depends both on the expertise and scientific curiosity of researchers and clinicians and on the continued provision of the resources they need.
For that, the dedication of volunteers like the ones we honour today is essential. I love celebrating and honouring volunteers.
2017 is of course also another significant anniversary. This year, as you know, we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
For 150 years, people in Canada have built a caring nation that stretches from coast to coast to coast. They have done so through a commitment to community, through a willingness to lead.
Canadians have built a nation to be proud of through actions like those of today’s honorees – people who saw a need and took it upon themselves to meet it, people who didn’t let their youth or their age or the size of the challenge stop them from giving their all.
Today, in celebrating the volunteers of Parkinson Canada, we celebrate all that is best about the country we love.
I thank you for your dedication and I wish you success in your endeavours that leads to improvements in all aspects of treatment for people affected by Parkinson’s disease.
Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.