Good afternoon everybody, and thanks so much for joining us here at the food bank.

This is one of those enterprises that give expression to human beings at their very best.

That's where we come together and it's amazing what we can do and come together to support one another.

We took the opportunity earlier today to stop in and talk to those guys who run the snowplows.

I met with Mayor Fontana there, took the opportunity just to thank everybody for the work that they're doing.

They're performing heroically under extraordinary circumstances.

I think you got enough snow here in a couple days, you got as much here in a couple days as you normally get in a half of a winter.

We are approaching, we are in fact in the thick of a remarkable time of the year when there's a bit of magic that infuses our lives.

And not only do we want to come together and be with our families and our closest friends, but we also develop a more pronounced sense of "Other." Other people in need. Other people who could use a bit of a hand up. Other people who could use a bit of support.

And I feel that here, throughout the city, I think not only in the food bank, not only at the Toys for Tots operation.

We also stopped in earlier today and visited a few kids at the children's hospital who may or may not be out in time for Christmas, gave them some gifts.

But you can feel there's the same sentiment that prevails there in the sense that we're together and it's important that we find ways to support one another and lift each other up.

The last point I want to make is this - this remains a challenging time for our economy.

We put in place some tax reforms.
We're cutting corporate taxes.
We're cutting personal taxes. The average family is experiencing a $400 personal income tax cut this year.

And yes, we've gone ahead with the HST - not an easy thing to do - but we've got to get to where 140 other countries are.

We've got to ensure that we are a competitive economy with an efficient taxation system.

We're not doing it because it's easy, we're doing it because it's essential.

Independent experts tell us that our tax reforms alone will create 600,000 more jobs over the course of the next 10 years.

So I'm very proud of all the hard work that Ontarians keep doing to strengthen this economy, which after all is the basis for us to fund our schools, fund our hospitals and ensure that we have the financial means to support these kinds of causes like our food bank.

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