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  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Order of Canada Investiture Ceremony

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Order of Canada Investiture Ceremony

Rideau Hall, Friday, September 3, 2010

I am delighted to welcome you to Rideau Hall and to preside over this Order of Canada investiture ceremony.

I remember the first time I took part in this ceremony of excellence as Governor General of Canada, in November 2005.

I remember being greatly impressed by the range of accomplishments of so many Canadians, and telling myself how extremely and incredibly lucky this country is to be able to count on women and men of your calibre.

And how it was a promise of success and hope for Canada to have been so brilliantly enriched by the contribution of people, like you, who give of themselves completely, pursue their dreams and use their skills to the best of their ability.

You are builders, of course, but you are also visionaries, and more importantly, role models, especially for our young people, who are driven by the same willingness to excel.

Role models we so urgently need in these uncertain and worrisome times, when humanity as a whole is looking for sources of inspiration.

That is also the reason I created a mentorship program in 2008 so that members of the Order of Canada could share the sum of their knowledge with a generation of energetic young people who want to succeed and contribute to the common good according to their aspirations.

And although it is not in our nature to glory in the exploits of our fellow Canadians—likely because of excess humility— this morning, let us celebrate the contribution made by exceptional women and men who have given so much to us, and to the entire world.

The women and men we are honouring at this, the eighteenth Order of Canada investiture ceremony I have presided over since 2005, are powerful and generous reminders that we can excel in virtually every area of human endeavour.

In sport and in business, on the page and on the stage, in laboratories and as part of research teams, in music and on the air, at the drawing board and at our most prestigious institutions, in the most specialized sciences and in health care, and at the ice rink and the head of governments, you remind us that nothing is impossible for those who are not afraid to push boundaries and borders.

Through your efforts, and thanks to you reflection and actions, you have brightened many lives, each in your own way, and our world is a better place for it.

We are very proud of you, and I am very touched this morning to be able to express, on behalf of all Canadians, our deepest gratitude to you.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my warmest thanks to the members of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada, chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, and assisted by the Chancellery, for the remarkable work they do in managing nominations to this, the most prestigious order in Canada, one that is governed completely independently.

Long live the Order of Canada!