There are places in Canada, north of the Arctic Circle, where darkness has settled for the winter. For weeks and months on end, the sun does not rise. But winter doesn’t stop life. Now is the time to tell stories, to rejuvenate and to move forward together.
To keep going.
And I have seen light during this difficult and monumental year gone by.
It was a year of change, of facing hard truths.
It was the year of Queen Elizabeth the Second’s passing.
It was a year that brought us together to face devastating climate disasters, community-shattering attacks, and the pain and trauma of children’s unmarked graves at residential school sites.
It was a year of reconciling the past and the present with the promise of the future.
We hold within us this promise. And while this has been a year where finding strength and resilience has been difficult, people have shown that good people doing good can make a difference. Pay attention to acts of kindness compassion, and reconciliation.
Now, we look to 2023, and I enter the year with hope in my heart.
Hope is a great motivator.
We can build a more inclusive country.
We can talk to each other—to better understand each other and respect our different views.
We can improve the lives of others by being generous, innovative, thoughtful and courteous.
We can renew our relationship with Indigenous peoples and with the land.
As this year ends, I encourage us to reach out to our friends and neighbours; to tell our own stories, dreams and plans for our future—
full of hope;
Full of light.
I encourage all of you to spend time together and enjoy the holidays and New Year with families and friends.
Happy New Year, Canada!