OTTAWA – Each year at this time, Canada Day gives us a wonderful opportunity to come together as a nation to reflect, and to celebrate our good fortune.
We have so much to be thankful for. Despite the challenges we face, Canada is in many ways the envy of the world.
As governor general, I have travelled across this country from coast to coast to coast.
I have seen our great diversity, and all that we have in common.
Canadians work hard every day on behalf of their families, their communities and their country. Having met with thousands of you, I know how hard Canadians work.
I also know that, regardless of age or affiliation, Canadians desire a better country. Each of us aspires to create a smarter, more caring nation, where everyone can succeed and contribute.
I am struck by the degree to which Canada resembles a giant family.
At the heart of this family resides our commitment to each other. From the moment of Confederation in 1867, this country has been a unique and challenging experiment.
As my predecessor John Buchan observed:
“The Fathers of Confederation gave Canada union. They could not give her unity.”
That is up to each of us, as members of the Canadian family.
Every day, through our actions and our words, we demonstrate our commitment to unity and diversity, to excellence and equality of opportunity.
These seeming paradoxes are in fact the keys to our success as a nation-past, present and future.
It has been a privilege as governor general to see Canadians working together in a spirit of generosity and respect. This ideal of service lies at the core of the country we love.
As Canadians, we are also members of a larger, diverse family known as the Commonwealth, and we are delighted this year to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
As the human face of the Canadian Crown, The Queen is the safeguard of our rights and freedoms. Her Majesty has served our country with dignity and dedication for six decades, and for that we are grateful.
Canadians have many reasons to celebrate our nation’s birthday this year. On behalf of my wife, Sharon, and our entire family, I wish you a wonderful Canada Day!
Governor General of Canada