The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Canada Day Celebration

Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, July 1st, 2017


Happy 150th birthday, Canada!

You’re looking better than ever!

We’re gathering on Algonquin traditional territory, the site of our Parliament, and we can truly feel the spirit of this land today.

That spirit—of inclusiveness and of the desire to do things better—is the spirit behind Confederation, achieved 150 years ago!

That spirit is based upon some guiding principles:



Respect for diversity.

Working together, despite our differences, toward the better country we desire.

This is the spirit of Canada.

It’s our answer to the question: what do we stand for?

But, we haven’t always lived up to our principles.

We try, we fail, we try again.

We keep trying, Canada!

That’s how we build that better country,

one person at a time, one act a time, one day at a time, year after year after year.

This is what we’re about.

This is what it means to be Canadian.

Today, we celebrate how far we’ve come!

It has been an immense privilege to serve Canada as governor general and to represent Her Majesty the Queen.

And what an honour to be joined by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall for today’s celebration!

Your Royal Highnesses, your presence here today means a great deal to us. You are an important part of our Canadian story. You continue to help us build a better country.

Over the last seven years, my wife, Sharon, and I have met with so many thoughtful, talented and compassionate Canadians.

We have seen unforgettable kindness and caring.

We have celebrated remarkable innovation and creativity.

Through it all, we have learned so much.

These are challenging but exciting times.

And together we can show the world what a great country looks like.

To me it looks like Canada, a country that strives, always, to be smarter and more caring—to do better, together.

Keep going, Canada! Happy 150th!