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  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Her Excellency Sharon Johnston - Presentation of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Ottawa, Ontario, Friday, April 28, 2017


I am very pleased to be with you at Ottawa City Hall today to thank the many volunteers who give so much of their time, talent and energy to good causes.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes Canada’s unsung heroes.

You know who you are!

I’ve met with many volunteers across Canada, and I know that for some of you, the spotlight may be uncomfortable. You don’t volunteer so you can be on stage.

But your generosity is admirable. You help people. Your example motivates others to get involved and to give.  

Since my husband, David, was named governor general, we’ve honoured more than 1 500 volunteers with this medal and its precursor, the Caring Canadian Award.

We’re very pleased to have been able to recognize so many generous and compassionate people. I always come away from these ceremonies inspired by the level of passion, knowledge and dedication among volunteers.

One way to create a more caring nation is by celebrating those who volunteer, by honouring them loudly and proudly.

That’s why you’re here today.

It is also to simply say thank you.

You are most deserving. After all, you were nominated by the people who know you best.

They know how hard you work and how much you’re admired.

This is especially apt during National Volunteer Week. What better way to mark the occasion than by shining the spotlight on such generous people as you are?

Together, you’re on the front lines of volunteerism. You represent our values and the kind of country we want to live in and that we want our children and grandchildren to live in.

Together, you’re making a real difference in peoples’ lives. You show us what can be done when “smart” and “caring” are combined.

Thank you and congratulations on this honour.