The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Discussion with Representatives of the Association franco-yukonnaise

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Whitehorse, Friday, February 11, 2011


My wife, Sharon, and I are delighted to join you here this evening. I know that welcoming new arrivals to Yukon is an important part of your work at the Centre de la francophonie, and I thank you for making us feel at home today.

I have been looking forward to learning more about the remarkable vitality of the Francophone community in Yukon. I’m told that newcomers to Yukon are often surprised at the extent of activities available in French.  Francophones are known for their devotion to the North and they want to contribute as much as they can to their community.

Yukon history is filled with the exploits of French-speaking settlers. Francophones were among the first Europeans to explore and live in this incredible landscape. They established fur trading posts, religious institutions, services, schools and communities.

Today, you continue that tradition of service. You work in education, culture, public administration, health, and communications. You support the well-being of Yukoners and are strengthening Canada in the process.

Since my installation as governor general, I have been inviting Canadians to join me in imagining our country as it could be. We strive for a smart and caring nation, where all Canadians can succeed, contribute and develop their talents to their fullest potential.

To achieve this vision, I have set out three pillars: supporting families and children; encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism; and reinforcing learning and innovation.

A healthy and vibrant French language and culture are an important part of this vision. I know that Francophones in Yukon take special pride in the vitality of French language education here.

I also want to recognize your efforts to welcome new arrivals to the North. They have so much to offer, and your support is crucial.

The members and supporters of the Association franco-yukonnaise and of all the organizations and groups you represent are essential to the health of the Francophone community. You have answered the call to service and can be proud of your accomplishments.

Together, you are helping to create the smarter, more caring Canada we aspire to.

Thank you.