New Children's Treatment Centre Opens In North Bay (Speech)
Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to join you on this wonderful occasion.
And I want to thank all of you ladies and gentlemen.
For taking time out of your busy schedules, to come together, so we can open One Kids Place, together.
And I also want to say to everyone who has had a hand in creating this marvellous facility -- from the men and women whose vision inspired it, to the people who whose hands built it, to the staff and volunteers and families whose love of children is at the heart of it -- I want to say, simply: "thank you."
You know, I was reading the other day about that scientist, Louis Pasteur.
Turns out, he absolutely loved kids. And tragically, he had five and he lost three at a very young age.
So, he dedicated his life to studying vaccines and preventative medicine.
And his work has saved and improved the lives of millions and millions of children around the world.
But this is what he once said, he said:
"When I approach a child, they inspire in me two sentiments -- tenderness for what they are, and respect for what they may become."
Today, I want to thank all of you for caring for our children with tenderness, especially at times when they might be nervous or uncertain.
And I want to thank you for showing them the tremendous respect they deserve and for believing in what they may become.
I also want you to know that our government believes in One Kids Place.
Let me re-phrase that to be more accurate.
I want you to know that 13 million Ontarians believe in One Kids Place and in the important work that you are doing.
You see, as Premier, it is my privilege and great honour to give expression to we -- the people of Ontario -- at our very best.
And just as we are kind, caring and compassionate so we are equally strong, determined and resolute.
We won't be pushed around when it comes to making tough decisions and we won't be pushed around when it comes to doing the right thing, which means being kind and considerate.
That's why Ontarians supported you with an investment of over $10 million.
It's part of our commitment to working with northern Ontarians to build a great quality of life and ensure that people in the North, and that includes our children and our young people, get health care services closer to home -- such as better access to paediatricians, speech language therapists and other specialists who will be right here to give kids the help they need, all in one place.
The funds you raised to build a new centre also helped create up to 200 jobs, in areas like construction, design and information technology.
Someone once said: "The decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking outside your body."
I may be Premier, but I have a higher calling -- a greater responsibility -- I'm a dad.
And even in hectic times, maybe under rigorous cross examination during question period, for example, there's always a part of my brain that's focused on my four kids.
I'm asking the same kinds of questions that parents everywhere ask: Are they happy?
Will they be happy tomorrow? Have I done everything I need to do to guarantee their happiness?
And as every parent knows, there are times when your child is sick or experiencing special challenges when you could feel helpless.
And it's one thing for a mom or dad to feel helpless, but is unacceptable for us to allow them to feel hopeless -- which is why it's so important that we provide the services their kids need. Services like those we're going to provide here at One Kids Place.
We're in this, together. And we can all lead richer lives when we come together to give every child a chance to develop their unique gifts.
Because by supporting One Kids Place, we nurture the gifts, the talents and the people that will one day lift all of us up.
I think I have a special message for the parents here.
You have the extraordinary gift of your children. You're not looking for a thank you.
You do this, what you do, for your children -- inspired by the most powerful motivator, has ever inspired human beings -- love.
But I'm going to say it anyway, thanks for loving your kids. Thanks for fighting for what is best for your children. Thank you for standing by them.
I am so proud of you. You make this province a great place. Thank you.
I met a lot of talented folks here today and there's one fellow in particular I had the honour of meeting a moment ago. His name is Justin Hines. He's going to be performing later today.
And I can tell you from my momentary meeting of him, you're in for a real treat.
Not only is he an inspired musician, he's an inspiration, period.
So I hope everyone enjoys the music and the rest of this wonderful celebration.
To borrow a phrase from Justin's lyrics -- "I wish you well."
I wish you well, in caring for our children and I wish you well, in bringing joy to your families.
I wish you well, in building healthier northern communities.
I wish you well, in building a stronger Ontario for all of us.
Thank you very much.