Order of Canada Investiture Ceremony
Rideau Hall, Friday, February 12, 2016
Welcome, all of you, to Rideau Hall for this very special occasion.
A governor’s speech must be clear as water.
So wrote George Elliott Clarke, Canada’s new parliamentary poet laureate and, let it be known, an officer of the Order of Canada!
Right. Clear as water. I’ll do my best!
You all speak Latin, right?!
DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM: They Desire a Better Country.
That, of course, is the motto of the Order of Canada, and I think that pretty clearly states why you’re here in this ballroom today.
You work in various fields, have diverse backgrounds and come from right across this vast country—but all of you share that desire for a better Canada.
Today, we say thank you, and we invite you to join this special group of people that make up the Order of Canada.
I’d like you to think of your investiture today not as a culmination but rather as a threshold, beyond which lie new and perhaps even greater possibilities.
With this honour, you’re part of an extraordinary network of people that spans the length and breadth of this country.
Think about the great things you can learn and achieve together! For yourselves, your communities and for Canada.
On that note, I was very interested to read of Canada’s score in some recent global rankings of the “brand” perception of 60 nations worldwide.
The rankings are based on 75 metrics including perceptions of how citizens are treated, how entrepreneurial a country is and the strength of its courts, schools, businesses and other institutions.
Canada ranked 2nd in the world in terms of its national brand, behind Germany and ahead of the United Kingdom. Canada was first overall on quality of life, second on citizenship and it also ranked highly on entrepreneurship and on being open for business.
Of course, these are just perceptions, but perceptions are important in a globally competitive world, and our strong international brand is a great asset to us.
What is a country, after all, but the fulfillment of a vision we share and endeavor to build together? Reality doesn’t always live up to the dream, but that’s why we keep striving and building together.
It’s why we keep on desiring a better country—because we perceive it as possible.
It’s thanks to Canadians like you that we have built a society that remains, in so many ways, the envy of the world, a beacon of hope and possibility.
I’m so grateful to you and to your families and loved ones for your remarkable contributions to Canada over many years.
Congratulations on receiving this well-deserved honour.
Wear your lapel pin proudly!