The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Canada Day Message

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Canada Day Message

Recorded at Rideau Hall, Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dear friends,

This year marks Canada’s one hundred and forty-third birthday, and we are celebrating in the distinguished presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, whom we wish a very warm welcome.

This birthday is an opportunity for us to celebrate the fact that we live in a country that is as generous as it is vast, a country with enough space and resources for each and every one of us to reach of fullest potential.

Over the past five years, I have crossed Canada from east to west, north to south, and I have rediscovered it in the process, as the sheer magnitude of its geography does not allow us to appreciate its full wealth at a single glance.

And I have been amazed to find how rich we truly are to live in a land that is as abundant as it is sustaining, untouched at times by our idea of progress; in a land of such demographic and cultural diversity that Canada is a microcosm of the entire world and recognizes this as the way of the future; in a land of passionate citizens, ingenious researchers and entrepreneurs, and influential artists; in a land with two official languages that are spoken around the world.

This country, our country, is what people everywhere dream of. For people like me and my family—who were born elsewhere—it represents all the possibilities of a better life, safe from tyranny, where freedom is a public good and a responsibility that we all work hard together to protect and preserve.

This country has taken my breath away countless times since my appointment as governor general of Canada. It is a powerful force within me, like the great North wind that inspires poets, the wind our Aboriginal sisters and brothers have taught us to hear and listen to.

On this July 1, 2010, I would like to once again tell all those I have met along this journey how much you have increased my faith in life.

To all those who are far from their loved ones, fighting a perilous battle against oppression, especially the oppression that targets women and destroys childhoods, I want to again say that you have forever changed the way I view military uniforms.

To all Aboriginal people, who represent our deepest roots in the Americas, those who have surrounded me with their wisdom and their kindness, I want to again say that you have been the most precious sharing circles for me.

To all young people, for whom nothing is too crazy or far-fetched, I want to again say, please continue to encourage us to expand our points of view. Because your dreams, your visions are the very best promises for our future.

And to all of you, I want to say that I will never stop supporting you or celebrating with you the great fortune we represent to each other and to humanity as a whole.

My husband Jean-Daniel, our daughter Marie-Éden and I would like to wish all of you a very happy Canada Day!