Canada Day marked with Flags, Parades And Marches ; Trudeau Goes To Leamington, Regina, Yukon

People watch a fireworks show in Centennial park as part of Canada Day celebrations, in Toronto on Sunday, July 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

OTTAWA: As Canadians celebrated the country’s birthday on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on the road highlighting the stand he has taken against the U.S. government’s decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

Speaking in Leamington, Ont., Sunday morning, Trudeau thanked residents and Canadians for always standing up for one another and for Canadian values.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets a group of kids during Canada Day festivities in Leamington Ont. Sunday, July 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins

“This is who we are, we’re there for each other in times of difficulty, in times of opportunity. We lean on each other and we stand strong and that’s what we do from coast to coast to coast,’’ Trudeau said.

The Ontario town is one of three cross-country stops the prime minister scheduled on Canada Day, and one of two designed to reflect the looming trade war between Canada and the United States.

In the town of Glen Williams

Trudeau met with workers at a major canning and food processing operation in Leamington, where the tomato paste used in French’s ketchup is made. Later in the day, he visited a major steel refinery in Regina. The two industries are at the heart of the trade dispute.

Trudeau’s counter-tariffs on a range of products took effect on Sunday _ a month after the Trump administration slapped duties on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from Canada and other allies.

Despite the tense political rhetoric among leaders, Trudeau kept his remarks upbeat and patriotic on Canada Day as he spoke to a crowd in Leamington.

“There is so much to be proud of as a country, but the thing we always have to be most proud of is Canadians ourselves _ the way we step, the way we lean on each other, the way we’re creative and optimistic about the future, the way we look at challenges as opportunities, to grow, to build, to be there for each other. That’s the message we’re celebrating on Canada Day,’’ he said.

Trudeau was speaking on the front steps of Highbury Canco with CEO Sam Diab.

Diab said in an interview that the tomato-processing facility will face increasing cost pressures as a response to the Canada-U.S. trade dispute.

On the main street in Glen Williams

However, the company does not plan on laying off any workers or shrinking its production, Diab said.

The prime minister ended his long Canada Day tour in the Yukon where he was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of about 600 people in Dawson City.

Arriving a little late, Trudeau waded slowly through the crowd that had gathered for a barbecue at the city’s Waterfront Park, shaking lots of hands and posing for photos and selfies.

Premier Sandy Silver and Mayor Wayne Potoroka were there as Larry Bagnell, Yukon’s Member of Parliament, gave Trudeau a rousing introduction as “the first prime minister in decades who has been outside Ottawa on Canada day.’’

Sounding a little hoarse, but still energetic, after his cross-country day of speech making, the prime minister said it was great to be back in the Yukon.

“Happy Canada Day, Dawson City,’’ he shouted to his cheering audience.

“You know, I’ve been right across the country all day, starting in Leamington, Ontario, through Regina, Saskatchewan, and ending here, and the sun is a long way from setting, so we’ve got a lot of time to party still.’’

More than 1,900 people became Canadian citizens on this special day at 46 citizenship ceremonies taking place across the country.

One of the most beautiful parades in Ontario was held at the picturesque little hamlet of Glen Williams in the Halton Hills region.  Nestled on the banks of the Credit River valley at the north end of Georgetown along the Niagara Escarpment, Glen Williams is is home to many visual artists, contains a collection of artist’s studios and is a major draw to the area.

Glen Williams has a compact community core that includes two restaurants and a bakery cafe, a Town Hall, parks, churches and homes. The character of the hamlet of Glen Williams is largely defined by the heritage buildings and natural setting, which help give Glen Williams its distinctive look and feel.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau poses for a selfie with a woman and man at a Canada Day barbecue in Dawson City, Yukon, on Sunday, July 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

These buildings help create an environment that is distinctive and lays the foundation for a remarkable community.

The Credit River flows through the village and extends 90 km from the Niagara Escarpment, emptying into Lake Ontario.

Glen Williams is home to many species of birds, mammals and fish, with the river and nearby conservation areas providing exemplary habitat for several species that have been designated as endangered or at-risk.

A parade through the main street of the town saw scores of schoolchildren, firetrucks, motorcyclists, local business trucks  and town bands, led by two RCMP officers lustily cheered by townsfolk lined up on either side of the road.