End-of-Year Message from the Governor General

December 29, 2023

December is always a very contemplative time. A time for us to consider the challenges and accomplishments of this past year as it comes to an end. A time to remind ourselves of what binds us as a nation.

Together, we have faced the ravages of wildfires, floods and the escalating consequences of climate change. We have stood in solidarity with communities suffering losses and tragedies. 

Together, we are grappling with the effects of global conflict and the pressures of living in these complex times.

And yet, together, we have also witnessed important strides in reconciliation, celebrated new chapters in history with the coronation of a new king, and taken steps towards shining a light into the dark corners of online toxicity towards women and girls.

Amid these momentous events, I have had the privilege of connecting with Canadians and communities to learn about and celebrate the countless unsung heroes who are turning challenges into opportunities, and adapting to change with creativity, resilience and, above all, kindness.

I cannot forget the bakery offering solace through donated meals; the knitting clubs weaving warmth for those seeking refuge; the school rallying for a student in the throes of a health crisis; the northern organization salvaging food for those in need; and food banks across the country finding new ways to help their communities.

Their stories are poignant examples of the Canadian spirit, and show us that we can each embody ajuinnata, which, in Inuktitut, means perseverance. Never giving up. Committing ourselves to action, no matter how daunting the situation may be. In this way, kindness—far from being an accidental act—emerges as a powerful and purposeful choice in the face of adversity. 

As we look to 2024, let us rekindle our connections to one another, and face challenges, change and progress with a renewed sense of unity. May this forthcoming year serve as a testament to the profound significance of ajuinnata, and to our commitment to making this country a better—and kinder—place.

Happy New Year, Canada.

Mary Simon

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Rideau Hall Press Office

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