The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Tour of the Ottawa Hospital Facilities and Presentation of the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award

Ottawa, Ontario, Monday, April 7, 2014


It is a pleasure to be here with all of you to celebrate our innovative and caring Canadians. And how fitting it is that we gather here during National Volunteer Week!

My wife, Sharon, and I have made it our mission to encourage Canadians to discover what we like to call “giving moments,” that is, individual ways that Canadians are making their communities better.

All of you here fit that description quite nicely!

Individually, you have done so much to raise money or awareness for The Ottawa Hospital, or to help with patients and families who are suffering through difficult times. Collectively, you have made this one of the premiere health care institutions in Canada.

For this, you should all be proud. We are certainly proud of all of you.

It is with this in mind that I am delighted to recognize three outstanding volunteers with the Caring Canadian Award in just a few moments. They have given back so much, and gone beyond all expectations to make this place stronger. What’s more, they are proven leaders, inspiring people to give and do more.

They have shown that compassion is a great healer.

But let me not limit my praise there. All of you here have contributed to making this place better.

In fact, I understand that the acquisition of one of the unique pieces of technology at this hospital—CyberKnife—was made possible entirely by community support.

When we talk about tangible outcomes of volunteerism and philanthropy, there can be no clearer picture than this. And no greater reward, either. After all, your compassion and caring not only change lives for the better, but also save lives. 

Examples like this one show me not only how important all of you are to the well-being of this community, but also how determined this hospital is to remain innovative and current.

And it is vital that we do so. I do not need to tell you that medicine is moving at a rapid pace of advancement. It boggles my mind to think of the treatment I received for injuries in my youth, or the treatment my own children and now my grandchildren received. We see a whole new frontier, and I am fascinated to see how you are utilizing new techniques and technologies to speed up and enhance the recovery of your patients.

One way you are doing this is with the CAREN system, and I am looking forward to seeing just how this relatively new technology is helping patients, including members of the Canadian Armed Forces, with their rehabilitation.

The people of the National Capital Region—indeed, everyone who receives treatment here—are fortunate to have these resources on hand.

It is here that volunteerism meets innovation, a pairing that leads to a stronger community, and a smarter, more caring nation.

Congratulations to all of you on your success and thank you for all that you do.