Governor General's Caring Canadian Award

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Presentation of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award

Toronto, Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It takes a special kind of person to sincerely feel the realities of others or to act with selflessness to help, care for, or comfort others, or bring joy to all those around them.

The people we are honouring today have that ability to reach others at the very core of their humanity and their fragility.

Lionel and Linda Mason, and Heather Breanne Muir, you support those around you who need relief, understanding, love and hope.

You are pillars in your community, and I am delighted to publically recognize your contribution today.

The Caring Canadian Award is a way to shine the spotlight on you, who freely and in all humility perform admirable work we rarely hear about.

It is a way for us to express our eternal gratitude.

It is also a way to encourage more Canadians to follow your example.

We are never too young—or too old—to ease the suffering of others, to provide a sympathetic ear, to rise up against injustice, to fight poverty, to find solutions and resources; in short, to change the world for the better.

And changing the world starts here. In your family, in your neighbourhood, in your community.

I believe we have a responsibility towards those who have not been as lucky as we have and who find themselves in a fragile state for one reason or another.

I believe we also have a responsibility towards people facing the same challenges we have faced and with whom we can share our experience and establish trust, in a spirit of reciprocity.

It is our responsibility to take care of one another.

And every act, every word counts.

Thank you for being a light in the darkness and a source of life for others, for putting new heart into their lives, and for giving them a reason to believe and a better future.