My wife, Sharon, and I would like to wish all Canadians a very happy Canada Day.
This day is an occasion to take a moment to reflect on our good fortune as Canadians, and to celebrate.
As governor general, I have the privilege of travelling across this country, visiting communities large and small, and meeting with countless, remarkable individuals. Let me tell you a little about them.
They are elders and grandparents. Sons and daughters. Neighbours and volunteers. They are teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs and artists. Public servants, students, labourers and community leaders.
Their backgrounds are as diverse as the nations and cultures of the Earth, but they all have one thing in common:
They are citizens of Canada.
The story of their lives and accomplishments would stretch as far and as wide as Canada itself.
It has been such an honour to meet with so many Canadians and to learn from them during the past year and throughout my mandate. For those who would listen, the people of this country have so much to offer.
Who built the remarkably stable, prosperous and dynamic country whose birthday we celebrate today? The country that in so many ways is the envy of the world?
And who will build the smarter, more caring society of which we dream?
It is important that we take this opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of those who have made this country what it is.
Canada did not happen by accident, and we must never take for granted all that has been accomplished.
By the same token, neither can we allow ourselves to become complacent.
Canadians are very fortunate, but we also face real and significant challenges as individuals and as a nation.
Across Canada, I have seen how people are fighting against poverty and inequality. I have seen people working to eliminate stigmas attached to mental illness, to improve literacy and learning, to care for others, for the environment, for their regions and communities.
In so many ways, Canadians are striving to make this country better.
This is the spirit that led to the birth of Canada 146 years ago to this very day.
Today is Canada’s day, and in four short years we will gather to celebrate the 150(th) anniversary of this country.
With that milestone in mind, let us each strive to discover what we have to give to this country. The essence of democracy is the understanding that we all have something to give, and a responsibility to do so.
Together, let’s make Canada smarter, more caring, and a better place for now and for the future.
Once again, I wish you a wonderful celebration of our nation’s birthday.
Happy Canada Day, everyone!
From the Governor General’s website.