OTTAWA – Happy New Year, Canada, and happy sesquicentennial! What an occasion: the 150th anniversary of our Canadian family!
This year we celebrate, and we stand at a threshold. We have a rare, once-in-a-generation opportunity to think about Canada, and to look to the future.
We have a chance to reflect, to reaffirm, to look ahead and say: We love this country. We’ve come so far. Let’s make it even better. And that’s just what we’ll do.
Canadians see this year as a chance to make a difference – to continue to build this country.
To all of you: Thank you for answering the call. Thank you for helping us seize this moment. Thank you for continuing the work of building Canada!
One hundred and fifty years ago, we began a great experiment. We called it Canada. The premise was that diverse peoples can live and work together in a spirit of respect, compromise and common cause.
One hundred years later, in 1967, Canadians celebrated with a renewed outpouring of enthusiasm and nation-building.
Today, we continue to benefit from the legacies of Confederation and of our centennial.
And while not perfect, our Canadian experiment continues. This year, I believe our legacy will be to innovate, to improve upon our inheritance, to make this country even better.
We’re so fortunate to live in Canada, but there’s so much more work to do.
Let’s ensure this is a country of both excellence and equality of opportunity for all. Let’s work towards achieving reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples. Let’s continue to celebrate diversity. It’s a strength, one that has allowed us to build a society that is the envy of the world.
Besides our 150th, we’re marking many milestones this year:
The 375th anniversary of Montréal;
The 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup;
And the 50th anniversary of the Order of Canada!
“They desire a better country” – that’s the motto of the Order of Canada. In fact, it could be the unofficial motto of Canada this year! We all desire a better country.
This year, we have a rare chance to shape it. A historic chance. So let’s work together. Let’s celebrate, and let’s keep building Canada.
Sharon and I wish you and your loved ones a very happy new year.