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, Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Canada is a land of majesty, history and diversity. We are blessed with an abundance of resources and warm people. We are the envy of the world in so many ways, and I am proud to call myself Canadian.

When I took on the role of governor general and commander-in-chief less than a year ago, I was humbled by the opportunity and proud to serve the country that has given so much to me and my family.

My wife, Sharon, and I have had the pleasure of travelling across the country, visiting cities and towns with rich and varied histories. We have heard the stories of our Aboriginal peoples. We have spoken with members of our Canadian Forces and their families. We have had discussions with volunteers, entrepreneurs, community builders and philanthropists. We have honoured deserving Canadians from across the country and have represented our country abroad.

Through it all, Canadians have shared with us their dreams and aspirations for what they want Canada to be.

In 2017, our country will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, and there is no better occasion than Canada Day to encourage the dialogue about how we can create our ideal country in six years’ time.

In my installation speech, I outlined three key pillars, which I believe constitute a smart and caring nation.

The first pillar, supporting families and children, is vital to the future of Canada.

Our lives revolve around our families; not only our immediate families, but also our extended ones. Our society must ensure that all Canadians are given the chance to make a better life for themselves and their children, because every child deserves stability, love and nurturing care. And it is our duty as parents to offer them every opportunity in life to succeed and to contribute in meaningful ways to Canada.

The second pillar, strengthening innovation and learning, is one way to keep up with an increasingly globalized world. Dreaming up new ways of doing old tasks is the cornerstone of innovation. Through our ingenuity, Canadians have long been at the forefront of technological advances. We must keep up with our fast paced world through innovation and through learning, in our schools, at home and in our communities. Education leads to understanding and a better quality of life for all of us.  

Finally, my third pillar entails encouraging volunteerism and philanthropy. Our communities rely on volunteers and philanthropists in a very real way to support people in need. We must take every opportunity to acknowledge what they do and to promote giving on a national scale. We must try to make giving a part of our daily lives. In this, we are ensuring that Canada maintains the “caring” aspect of its nature that we so cherish.

With these pillars, combined with the dedication of all Canadians, we can build the smarter, more caring nation to which we all aspire.

Canada is a vast country with as many small, secret places of beauty as there are wonderful people. On this Canada Day, I want to wish all Canadians a wonderful celebration. I hope that we can continue to be a nation that imagines infinite possibilities and works hard to create them.

Happy birthday, Canada!