The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Presentation of Canadian Honours (Edmonton)

Edmonton, Alberta, Thursday, December 8, 2016


I am pleased to be here in the traditional territory of Treaty 6, and I acknowledge the Métis people of Alberta, who share a deep history with this land.

We’re here in Edmonton for this very special presentation of honours. And what better place to honour the very best of us than right here, overlooking the historic North Saskatchewan River and the river valley!

The North Saskatchewan River has played an important role in our history, allowing for increased trade and helping to bring people together.

All of you have also brought people together, through your collective actions and achievements.

Today, we honour Canadians for meritorious service, for volunteerism, for bravery, for police work and for dedication to Canada’s North.

And we’re holding this honours ceremony here in Edmonton for one simple reason: Canadian honours belong to everyone, across this country, from coast to coast to coast.

It’s an opportunity to share your stories, to celebrate local contributions and to connect with Canadians.

All of you are making this a better country, one day at a time, one remarkable act at a time.

It’s also an opportunity to say thank you for your compassion, for your excellence, for your sacrifices.

The Order of Merit of the Police Forces, the Decorations for Bravery, the Meritorious Service Decorations, the Polar Medal and the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers all share a dual purpose:

To honour those who inspire us,

And to encourage more people to follow in your footsteps.

These honours—but more importantly, the actions they recognize—inspire others to get involved in their communities.

What you’ve done has a remarkable side effect, inspiring others who know you, as when a drop of dye is added to a glass of water.

The effect is transformative.

Your actions encourage us to strive for greater things and to pursue excellence.

And speaking of greater things, right around the corner is 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday.

I’ve been asking Canadians across the country: what will your gift be to your country in 2017?

I come bearing a suggestion!

None of these honours were presented by accident: each is the result of a nomination process begun by those who know you best, and who know how worthy you are of recognition.

So I ask: who inspires you in your communities? Honour them by putting their names forward, by nominating them for an award or decoration. Help us celebrate and encourage those who seek to make a difference—like all of you!

To our recipients, congratulations, and thank you for everything you do for Canada.


This brings to a close our presentation of honours today, and what a very moving and powerful morning it has been.

I was so inspired to meet each of you, our recipients, and to have this opportunity to thank you in person for your efforts.

I’m also delighted to have presented these honours in the presence of your loved ones and so many others who care about building a better Canada.

To all of you, my thanks for your support of these remarkable individuals.

I would also like to take a moment to once again put out a call for nominations.

Our country and our communities would not be the smart and caring places they are without you.

There are so many out there, like you, who are making this a better country. Help us celebrate them.

Thank you to all who have helped make today’s ceremony possible and to all of you for being here.

And congratulations once again to our deserving recipients.