The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Reception with the Diplomatic Corps

Rideau Hall, Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Welcome, all of you, to Rideau Hall, the home of the people of Canada. It is your home as well, all of you who have come here to represent your country.

This is my last week as governor general, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past seven years.

It has been an honour and a privilege to serve Canadians and to represent my country abroad. Alongside my wife, Sharon, I was fortunate to lead delegations of Canadians on 56 missions to 35 countries during my mandate. We’ve been to the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

These visits have left indelible marks on our hearts, and we leave here with so many fantastic memories.

You know what all of these countries have in common? Though there are differences in climate, language, culture and history, what I found was that each country, without fail, was also home to friends of Canada living, working and contributing there.

We have created a global family, and I could not be prouder of that.

I’ve spoken with world leaders about innovation, education, business, trade, culture, sport and so much more.

And I’ve had the opportunity to promote what I call the diplomacy of knowledge, which is simply sharing ideas across borders.

This is the type of partnership that I hope will continue to grow in the coming years.

Of course, I also had the great honour of hosting 62 dignitaries on visits to Canada. And I welcomed 276 foreign heads of mission during 64 letters of credence ceremonies—many of you, in fact!

What you do here is so important. Advances in technology mean that we can talk instantly from virtually anywhere around the world, but there is still no substitute for face-to-face dialogue.

I encourage all of you to continue your work with Canadians and with one another. In this way, we will create a smarter, more caring, stronger, safer, more just world.

Finally, Sharon and I would like to thank you for your support during the mandate. You have made our job much easier as a result. Your participation and partnership at many events with Canadians has helped promote greater collaboration and understanding between our peoples.

Thank you.