The Immigrant Family That Did
I was born in Poland to two strong minded, determined and extremely hard working parents. My dad was a savvy business man in a Communist country – his drive made him an enemy of the state. We immigrated to Canada – the land of opportunity and freedom – in search of a better life. While pressured by federal immigration officials to settle in Toronto, my dad chose Edmonton, Alberta. We arrived just as the Trudeau’s NEP policy was devastating our beautiful province’s economy.
I was too young to remember much about how hard that time actually was. But I do remember being told by my parents how important it is to work hard, how important family is and how important it is to contribute.
So I worked. I was a busy kid!
By 16 I was helping my dad at his auto repair and body shop in Edmonton. Mom was the accountant and office manager, dad was the highly skilled jack of all trades and business man and I was the helper and cleaner that would occasionally be left running the whole show. It was a great experience. We were the big taxi shop in town. We owned a bunch, repaired more and supplied parts for most taxis in Edmonton. I met people from all walks of life at Polcan Auto. People of all cultures and socioeconomic status. Trained doctors, engineers, architects – all driving taxis to make ends meet.
There are a lot of things about Canada and Alberta that I love. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to grow up here. But I think we should always strive to do better. There are also many things that bother me – I really believe we should be leading the world in every category out there. In my opinion, the way to get there is by being both progressive and conservative. I believe strongly in conservative values. I don’t agree on every policy or with every politician, but my core values are aligned and I believe core values are important to fight for.
I gave you that background about me so that you can see what my influencers were. You, no doubt, had a different experience and may, as a result, have different views. I hope that you can share those views with me. Together, we can make this the best province of the best country in the world.