Order of Canada Investiture Ceremony
Rideau Hall, Friday, May 13, 2016
I’d like to welcome all of you to Rideau Hall for your investiture into the Order of Canada.
Canada is a nation of dreamers.
This country was built on the idea that disparate communities could be brought together, not through similarity of background or language, but through common cause.
Of course, this experiment we call Canada is still in flux, still being perfected, nearly 150 years later.
It’s what drives each and every one of us.
It’s what makes us dream of better lives through art, business, public service, sports, volunteerism and philanthropy, education and innovation.
We’re all descendants of dreamers, and we’re dreamers ourselves.
The Order of Canada is peopled with those who imagined what could be and devoted their lives to bettering this place.
Now, it’s your turn to enter its ranks.
You’ve all proven yourselves great men and women dedicated to improving the lives of those around us. You’ve shown that you all embody the motto of the Order: You truly desire a better country.
It’s a privilege to honour you here today.
As I look around this room, at my fellow Canadians who have been brought together through the Order of Canada, I can’t help but be excited for the future.
You’ve already done so much for us, and I know you will continue to work at making a better country. You will inspire others to reach for lofty heights.
But most of all, you will strengthen the dream of those who originally envisioned an inclusive, equal Canada for all.
You’ll do this not because you have to, but because it’s part of who you are.
With dedicated individuals such as yourselves leading the way, I know great things are in store for our country, for the next generation and for the world.
Two of my favourite lines come from George Bernard Shaw: “Some people see things as they are and wonder ‘Why?’ We dream of things that ought to be and ask, ‘Why not?’”
Next year, 2017, will mark not just the 150th anniversary of Canada, but also the 50th anniversary of the Order of Canada.
Ours is an unfinished country. You—like me, like Shaw—dream of what can be. On Canada’s birthday, I hope that we can look at what gift we can give, what we can do to make this a smarter, more caring nation.
Let’s recommit to the dream of Canada.
Congratulations on this honour. Wear your pin with pride, because Canada has pride in you.