November 23, 2022
Check against delivery
I would like to first acknowledge that we gather on the territory of Indigenous peoples who have lived on and cared for these lands for thousands of years.
Welcome to the Citadelle and Québec City.
This fortress has seen more than 300 years of Canada’s history, and is a National Historic Site. And many historic events have taken place here, including the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, just this past summer.
Congratulations on your new roles, ambassadors and high commissioners from Moldova, Switzerland, Korea, Guyana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India and North Macedonia.
Our stories help define us, shape us into who we are. Collectively, our stories create communities and countries.
As governor general, I have the wonderful responsibility of learning and sharing the stories of all Canadians, and supporting them through challenging times. Now I’m proud to share those stories with you.
I urge you to learn Canada’s true history, the good and the bad, and learn about Indigenous peoples and diverse communities in Canada.
And make sure to tell your stories as well so we can better understand, respect and empathize with each other.
For example, I met with the President of the Republic of Korea in late September and learned about our collective story of diplomacy and friendship. In that spirit, I would like to extend to the people of Korea my condolences after the tragedy that took so many lives in Seoul on Halloween.
Sharing our stories and getting to know each other is particularly vital as we face many global challenges.
One of the most vital threats we face is climate change and the increased impact of disastrous climate events. We saw an example of this with the devastation on Canada’s East Coast from Hurricane Fiona a few months ago, as well as other disasters in the past year. And we’ve seen the results of a warming Arctic and rising sea levels.
It’s within our power to change this destructive course, but we can only do so when we work together to heal our planet.
We also can’t overlook the effect of global conflicts, in Ukraine, Europe and in other parts of the world. We all have a role to play in protecting ordinary citizens, refugees and children and families hoping to stay safe.
These challenges aren’t easy. We may disagree and have hard conversations on what to do and the way forward. But they are necessary. Every step—every conversation we have, no matter how difficult—brings us closer to solutions, consensus, peace and security.
Our world is changing, but despite the challenges, I have hope that tomorrow can be better if we work together. How we address these challenges will determine our future. We can’t give up.
I hope that during your time in Canada, you have conversations with Canadians about these issues.
There is a word in Inuktitut: ajuinnata. It means a promise, a vow to never give up. It means committing ourselves to action, no matter how daunting the cause may be.
Let us commit ourselves to persevering against all odds for the good of our citizens and the world.
All of us are part of the solution, and I’m grateful to you for your support, your efforts and your continued friendship. We hope you experience all the wonder of our beautiful country. I know that our bonds will only deepen in the coming years.
Welcome to Canada.
Thank you. Nakurmiik.