Visit to 22 Wing North Bay
North Bay, Ontario, Thursday, March 31, 2016
Sharon and I are delighted to be here today.
First, let me thank you for this wonderful welcome.
As commander-in-chief of Canada, I’m always pleased to meet with members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
22 Wing has such a storied history, and I look forward to learning more about what you do on a day-to-day basis, what challenges you face and your plans for the future.
I’m especially interested to see how you protect our nation and our neighbours through your participation in NORAD.
And, not least, our twelve grandchildren have given me the important task of learning more about your Santa Tracker!
NORAD plays such an important role in maintaining North American security. And for many years, your collaboration has stood as proof of how well Canada and the United States work together.
This base is a beacon of partnership between our two nations, and it is also a great place of learning.
The presence of American personnel on base gives us a chance to learn from each other and to share best practices.
This partnership also allows us to strengthen our people-to-people ties, which extend beyond the military.
Because in addition to being military partners, Canadians and Americans are of course friends and neighbours with a great deal in common.
Throughout my life and during my time as governor general and commander-in-chief, I’ve seen many examples of Canada’s collaboration with the United States and other international partners.
My travels have offered me a unique perspective on how Canadians are working around the world, including the respect in which our military is held.
The United States is one of our most important partners. We are working very well together on many fronts, including defence.
I’ve had the opportunity to make five visits to the U.S. as governor general, most recently to Washington, D.C.
While in Washington, I was particularly moved to visit Arlington National Cemetery and to lay a wreath honouring U.S. soldiers who served on both sides of the border, cementing our friendship and bonds. This solemn occasion reminded me of the long history of military partnership that exists between us.
During my visit here, I look forward to learning about your unique contribution to this storied military partnership.
Sharon, meanwhile, will be visiting the Military Family Resource Centre, which is doing such essential work. Your well-being, and the well-being of your families, is paramount.
A number of your family members are here with us today and I’d like to express my gratitude to them for their support and their sacrifices.
To all of you, on behalf of all Canadians, thank you for the role you play in our security, defence and well-being.
And finally, I want to express my deep appreciation for the service of every individual who works on this base.
All of you inspire me with your sense of duty, honour and professionalism.
Thank you for all that you do for Canada and the United States.