Like me, many of you may feel this Christmas is going to be a first for all of us. We must remember that Christmas and the holidays are about heartfelt affection with those you love, so while we aren’t physically together, we should be close at heart. We can still celebrate safely and with reason. The acceleration of technology in 2020 allows us to be anywhere with anyone virtually. It is a hallmark of 2020, having kept us together and connected. Our communities are tighter knit today than ever. The pandemic united us in a fight against an invisible enemy. We still see lasting compassion from neighbours, friends, and businesses with a simple message — “We are in this together.”

While the only certainty in life is uncertainty, we will certainly remember that we got through this together. This pandemic underlined the importance of modernizing hospital infrastructure and taking care of one another. Our government demonstrated this commitment with $42 million in new funding for Peel Region’s health-care facilities, but this will not be the end of the road. Mississauga’s Trillium Health Partners (THP) had its busiest year on record, with over 1.75 million visits. Over 20 years, this number will grow by almost 800,000 yearly visits — seven times the provincial average. THP will need double the number of beds they have today to meet demand. Together, we will accomplish these challenges. Just as we exchange gifts, I encourage you also to embrace the gift of life. That is the truest form of giving. As an organ donor, you can save up to eight lives, and enhance up to 75 more. It takes only two minutes at Our time will come — our deeds will last.

Rest assured, there is a more resilient “normal” ahead. As renowned scientist Marie Curie said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Knowing what we now know, we will come back stronger.