Presentation of Honours (P.M. ceremony) (Vancouver, B.C.)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, March 4, 2016
Good afternoon, and welcome all of you to this very special presentation of Canadian honours.
This is the second and final honours ceremony we’re having here today, and of course we’ve saved the best for last!
Only joking, morning cohort!
Let me assure you, all of you are in very good company.
It really is wonderful to be here. This is the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil‑Waututh First Nations, and we’re honoured to have this ceremony take place on this land.
Ladies and gentlemen, these people here on stage with me are some of the finest Canadians you could hope to meet.
We’ve borrowed them from their communities for a day, to honour them, and to celebrate their achievements.
They’re from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Yukon.
They’re exceptional in so many ways.
They’re caregivers and volunteers.
They’re first responders.
They’re true professionals.
They’re philanthropists in the broadest sense of the word: they share a love for humanity.
Each of these great Canadians is making this a better country, one day at a time, one remarkable act a time.
Today, we’re here to say thank you for your compassion, for your excellence, for the sacrifices you make on others’ behalf.
I’m very happy to confer these honours in front of such a large and supportive crowd.
Imagine for a moment that all of you who have filled this room represent Canada.
And these individuals on stage, they represent our values, what we stand for, and the kind of country we want to live in. The kind of country we want our children and grandchildren to live in.
The Caring Canadian Award, the Exemplary Service Medals, the Decorations for Bravery and the Meritorious Service Decorations all share a dual purpose:
They honour those who inspire us.
And they celebrate and encourage such efforts.
Doing so has a remarkable side effect, as when a drop of dye is added to a glass of water.
The effect is transformative.
These honours inspire others to get involved, to help out, and to build networks of caring and creativity.
I’d like to say what a pleasure it is to present these honours, here in Vancouver, joined by my vice-regal colleagues from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Yukon.
We’re delighted to have this opportunity to connect with you and your families and loved ones.
Each one of these individuals was nominated by someone they know. This celebration starts at the grassroots level, like the river grass from which the Musqueam First Nation takes its name.
Let this ceremony inspire you to nominate other deserving people for these honours.
To our recipients, congratulations, and thank you for everything you do for Canada.
This brings to a close our presentation of honours today, and what a very moving and powerful day it has been.
I was so inspired to meet each of our recipients and to have this opportunity to thank you in person for your efforts.
It’s also a privilege to honour each one of you in the presence of your loved ones, and so many others who care about building a better Canada for all.
To all of you, my thanks for your support of these remarkable individuals.
Let me also to take a moment to repeat the call for nominations. None of these honours were presented by accident: each is the result of a nomination process by those who know our recipients best, and who know how worthy they are of recognition.
So let me ask you to think about this in the days ahead: who inspires you in your communities?
Honour them, and help us celebrate and encourage those who make a difference.
Thank you again to all who have helped make today’s ceremonies possible and to all of you for being here.
And congratulations once again to our deserving recipients.