July 1, 2022
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Happy Canada Day!
I would like to acknowledge that we’re gathered today on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.
It’s wonderful to see everyone together again on Canada Day. Let me begin by thanking Canadians for their efforts during the pandemic.
Thank you Canada for all your efforts during the pandemic, particularly the front line workers who made a difference. They’re a big part of the reason we can once again be out in the world and I applaud their work.
I’m delighted that we can once again see friends and family and show love for our country.
And there’s so many things to look forward to, so many milestones to celebrate.
This year, we mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Her Majesty has earned our respect during the last seven decades with her commitment to service and her steadfast and reassuring presence.
As well, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Decorations for Bravery. During the past year, I’ve been privileged to learn of Canadians who selflessly acted to save a life, often of someone they do not know.
I’m inspired by all the stories I’ve heard throughout my first year. Stories of bravery. Stories of volunteerism. Stories of perseverance. The stories of our country. What is Canada if not a collection of diverse voices and experiences? Stories define us.
As a country, we must remember that the spirit of celebration doesn’t extend to everyone. This day may also be a reminder of what we have lost. Of course, we suffered tragic losses during the pandemic, and increasingly from climate disasters.
And I’ve met with Indigenous peoples who continue to show strength and resilience, but still grieve lost culture, languages and lives. This pain is renewed as they uncover locations of unmarked graves at residential schools. We must all work together to walk the road of reconciliation and healing. It begins with understanding and respect.
You may have heard me speak of ajuinnata in the past year. It’s a phrase in Inuktitut and important to Inuit. It means to never give up, to commit yourselves to action.
The spirit of ajuinnata surrounds us. It’s in the perseverance shown during the pandemic. In the tireless work in communities across Canada. And in the determination and hope of our youth to work toward building a Canada that lives up to our dreams.
As we celebrate Canada Day, I want to encourage people in that same spirit to continue building an inclusive society, one where we can be who we are without judgement, where everyone belongs. Lead with kindness and compassion.
On this and every day, have hope for the future.
I’m proud to call Canada home, and I’m proud to call all of you my neighbours.
My husband, Whit, joins me in wishing all Canadians a wonderful Canada Day!