Governor General’s Innovation Awards

May 14, 2024

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Welcome to Rideau Hall for this presentation of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards. I am honoured to recognize your contributions, particularly during Canadian Innovation Week.

Before we get started, I would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people.

In acknowledging this history, we are fulfilling our collective responsibility to learning more about Indigenous peoples. This is reconciliation in action.

For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples have lived, worked and thrived on this land. Like many others, Indigenous peoples are innovators as well, adapting and evolving to address complex national and global problems.

Innovation moves us forward, with the development of groundbreaking advancements or solutions.

Innovation is important to progress.

Innovators think big, by challenging conventions and by pushing the boundaries of what is possible. They help create a bright future. Just like all of you have done with your remarkable achievements.

You show us what happens when people with diverse perspectives exchange ideas.

There are many examples of how innovation contributes to Canada—too many to mention them all.

Consider the innovative contributions from people with disabilities, who are directly addressing accessibility issues.

Or consider Indigenous innovation, which builds on traditional knowledge to tackle issues like climate change, conservation and sustainability.

Inspiration can come from any corner of this nation. Our diversity is not only a strength, but also a necessity for progress. We need diverse voices to be involved and heard, so that our country can remain innovative.

We have so much to learn from each other.

You have all demonstrated resilience and creativity, and a commitment to making a positive impact on our country.

Together, let us continue to celebrate innovation as one of the cornerstones of our collective success.

To all of you: congratulations on receiving this well-deserved honour.

Thank you.