Fall is a busy time for all of us, and I have been busy both in Ottawa and in Prince George-Peace River. In November, I along with Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz had the pleasure of meeting with farmers from across the Peace about opportunities created by Canada’s new trade deal with Europe. Agriculture was the hot topic again in December when I traveled to Washington D.C. I met with congressional policymakers to discuss how unfair Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules hurt Canadian cattle and hog farmers. 

With Christmas trees arriving on Parliament Hill, the joy and anticipation of the season grows, and it is my family’s favourite time of the year. Christmas is a chance to take a step back from our busy lives and put our focus on our loved ones. They may be close to home, or on the other side of the world – but this is the season where we hold them especially close to our hearts. 

Christmas is a season of giving. It is more than just giving to our loved ones; it is also a time to give to those less fortunate in our community. The Christmas season is when we keep the sentiment of good will to all. Regardless of our faith and our wealth, Christmas is a time to take a break from our busy daily lives and reflect on what we have and to give thanks. 

I will finish by repeating some timeless words that have remained with us over the centuries that remind us of the reason for the season. 

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:8-14