May 18, 2022
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I would like to begin by acknowledging that we are gathered here on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.
Welcome all of you to Rideau Hall.
Here, we celebrate great moments and great people. So many have visited this Ballroom to receive honours and to tell their stories. Today, we add one more story, one more celebration for our respected guests.
Your Royal Highnesses, welcome back to Canada and to Rideau Hall. We’re delighted to host you both as you continue your Royal Tour here in Ottawa.
During your numerous visits to Canada, you have travelled widely and seen much of this country. In addition, you have met with so many Canadians, from Indigenous peoples to members of our military to volunteers.
With every visit, you’re adding to your knowledge of our vast landscapes and the stories of our people.
And we’re eager to engage with you, to hear your thoughts, to tell you about our successes and struggles. To share with you who we are and who we want to be.
Who are we? A country learning about itself. A country writing its real history. A country acknowledging the harm done.
And who do we want to be? A country on a path of reconciliation. A country that listens.
Your Royal Highnesses, we welcome you on this path with us.
Your visit to Canada also allows us to celebrate an exceptional milestone: Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Her Majesty has been a steadfast presence in the world for the last 70 years and has seen Canada evolve and grow.
We have great respect for The Queen and will continue to celebrate her remarkable reign, her compassion, her empathy, her kindness and her dedicated service.
I have long admired the work Her Majesty does. I grew up hearing my grandmother speak reverently about The Queen, as did so many in the North.
And whenever I have had the good fortune of speaking to The Queen, I’m always grateful for her interest in our country and our stories.
Your Royal Highnesses, I want to thank you for helping us mark this wonderful milestone and for your commitment you have consistently shown to Canada and its people.
I wish you safe travels tomorrow to Canada’s North, as you continue to engage with Indigenous leaders, elders and community members. Their stories are an integral part of our journey of reconciliation. I also hope you will give our warmest regards to Her Majesty The Queen, who has long held our respect.