Today 70 special Olympians, their parents and volunteers are on Parliament Hill to share their incredible stories.

    Special Olympics Canada provides sporting opportunities to over 35,000 athletes of all ages, 100 of whom will be going to the games in Austria next year for Canada. They represent a powerful movement of those who show greatness by conquering hardship every day.

    Almost one million disabled people have the pride of a job and many more want the same opportunity. They have champions in people like Mark Walker, the Tim Hortons owner, who has employed over 100 disabled people, saying that they get the same wages and often do a better job than their counterparts, or Meticulon in Calgary, which is turning autistic young minds into IT professionals. That is the power of work and opportunity that the special Olympians here today personify.

    They remind us that God made each of us special, that all have precious value, and that everyone must be free to earn a great life.