National We Day
Ottawa, Ontario, Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
What a sight that was, seeing our nation’s flag passed hand-over-hand on this great day!
You know, as governor general, I give a lot of speeches.
I often start by saying something like this:
“Good morning, thank you all for being here!”
Today, I mean it more than ever!
I thank you for being here, because everybody in this arena knows one thing:
You can’t buy a ticket to We Day.
You have to earn it.
Each of you has earned your way into this arena in our nation’s capital.
Think about that for a moment.
About what that means for your community.
About what that means for our country.
I think it means you understand two very important facts.
there are no shortcuts to caring;
the only way to build a better world is to take action, now.
All of you here know this.
You know what it takes to give.
And you know what we get when we give.
The twenty young people who are with me onstage know these things too.
You may be asking yourselves who they are.
Well, I’ll tell you!
They’re twenty extraordinary young Canadians.
They’re supporters of Free The Children who have just received the Caring Canadian Award for their great dedication to helping others.
And they’re here to help me mark a wonderful milestone:
Twenty years of Free The Children!
Did you hear me?
TWENTY YEARS OF FREE THE CHILDREN!
It’s amazing to me, to think what all of you have accomplished.
Free The Children empowers youth, here at home and abroad in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Think about that for a moment.
You’re part of a movement. A global movement.
You’re literally changing the world!
I’m so proud to be patron of Free The Children. I’m so impressed by young people who care and who act. It reminds me that you’re never too young to change the world.
Nor too old!
Now, I want to ask all of you a question.
Where is everybody?
Yes, this arena is packed, but there are hundreds of thousands of other young Canadians out there who aren’t here today.
Where are they?
They’re your friends, your classmates, your teammates and peers.
My dream for Canada is to see all of them at We Day, to see all of them doing as you do.
Getting involved. Volunteering. Giving. Caring.
Changing the world!
My dream is that in the future, Craig and Marc Kielburger won’t be able to find a stadium big enough to hold We Day! That We Day will have to be held outdoors, where there’s enough room for hundreds of thousands of young people like you!
And the only way that’s going to happen is if you lead the way.
That means doing as you are doing, but also asking your friends and peers to get involved.
Perhaps a better word is: daring them to get involved.
To give is to dare, because giving takes courage, giving takes guts.
So I want to ask each of you: when you get back home, will you dare someone to give?
Will you do this for me—for Canada?!
YOU are the agents of change. Our country, our world, needs you to be its ambassadors.
So I’m daring ALL OF YOU to dare someone to give.
Now let me end by thanking you again for everything that you do! I am so grateful.
Happy We Day, everybody!