The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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BLOG: Happy birthday, Canada!

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June 30, 2009

by Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean

This year, we are celebrating Canada’s 142nd birthday. I would like to take this festive opportunity to highlight the extraordinary contribution that young Canadians are making to the vitality of our country.

In every city and every community, from Moncton to Fort Simpson, Rankin Inlet to Montréal, Vancouver to Trois-Rivières, young people are redefining our world in a spirit of greater solidarity. Here at home and abroad, they are demonstrating compassion, protecting the common good, and working together.

Their actions are rooted in a place, a community, but reach much farther in the hope of creating a greater global awareness. They are easing tensions in some of our urban neighbourhoods. They are inventing new languages to express who we are. They are defending our ideal of justice, equality and freedom, at times risking their lives to do so. They are encouraging others to excel, as the world’s youth will demonstrate at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which will be held in February and March of next year.

These youth, whom we relegate far too often to the future, as though they have nothing to offer the present, are in fact, day after day, our most powerful antidote against inaction and indifference. So let us salute our youth and stand not behind them, nor in front of them, but with them in our shared desire to explore every possibility between us and in each of our lives. Through them, we will come to embody, within our borders and beyond, the Canada we still dream about, whose full potential we hope one day to realize.

Happy birthday, Canada!