Message to the Members of the Canadian Armed Forces and of the Foreign Service

December 21, 2019

OTTAWA—The holiday season is a time to rejoice. It is a time to take a deserved break, a time to regroup and to recharge. It is also a time of giving and sharing, and most Canadians will join friends and family to celebrate. But not all, especially the men and women who serve our country in the Canadian Armed Forces and in the Canadian Foreign Service.

This year, I had the privilege of meeting and working with many of you, in Canada or abroad, and to witness first hand your immense contribution. Whether you are part of our military deployments, or work as foreign service officers in the more than 260 Canadian establishments around the world, you provide essential services, promoting shared values and advancing Canada’s interests every day, in a spirit of collaboration and respect. 

Diplomacy — including defence and operational diplomacy — can be an exacting exercise in today’s increasingly complex world. Personnel deployed overseas live their lives around service and engagement, often under demanding constraints on the family, sometimes at significant risks, and always away from home.  

And although the success of our international involvement and of our relationships with our partners is effected in many different ways, its impact and quality rests almost solely on your individual actions. By helping, assisting, training, accompanying and supporting local authorities, armed forces and citizens where you serve, you build confidence and you represent Canada with great distinction and dedication. 

For this, and for all you do for the nation, I thank you (and your family) and congratulate you. Your work matters and you serve with integrity, courage and commitment. You are all extraordinary ambassadors for our country. 

As we enter the Holiday Season and make way for 2020 — a new year and a new decade — please know that you proudly wear and wave the Maple Leaf of a grateful nation. 

Most sincere wishes for the New Year to you and your loved ones. 

Julie Payette


Media information:
Melanie Primeau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-618-2691 (cell)

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