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People of southern Alberta set an example for all Canadians, Harper says

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    The Canadian Press

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 8:22 AM -

    Thousands gathered on Parliament Hill for the annual Canada Day celebration on Monday.

    Some revelers offer their thoughts on what makes Canada special, and their aspirations for the country's future.

    Flood-weary Albertans received special attention during Monday's celebrations. 

    Prime Minister Harper said the people of southern Alberta set an example for all Canadians by helping their neighbours and sheltering complete strangers. 

    "When floods forced so many from their homes, communities dug deep, neighbours helped neighbours and people sheltered complete strangers," he said. "That's the spirit that makes Canada the best country in the world. The best, bar none."

    Harper gave his annual address at the foot of the Peace Tower, which he says has come to symbolize Canada's values.

    Many Canadians have stepped up to help their Alberta neighbours and they were thanked by Alberta Premier Alison Redford in a video message. She pointed to such groups as Red Cross volunteers from Newfoundland, social workers from Guelph, Ontario and dog trainers from Kelowna, BC. Redford said Albertans are "so grateful to be part of a Canadian community.'' 

    "Canada is not just any country, but a people determined to do right – a fact that makes me proud as we approach the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of our country," Harper added. "Compassionate neighbours, courageous warriors, and confident partners, a bastion of freedom in an un-free world, a standard-bearer of goodwill, in a time when too many choose to hate, a land of hope in a sea of uncertainty."

    Thousands gather on Parliament Hill to celebrate Canada Day

    Thousands gather on Parliament Hill to celebrate Canada Day

    There were also loud cheers from an estimated crowd of 80,000 people for astronaut Chris Hadfield during Monday's celebrations. 

    His photographs from the International Space Station and his version of the David Bowie song "Space Oddity" this year earned him fans around the world.

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