Prime Minister Trudeau delivers toast at State Luncheon in Washington DC
Thank you. Thank you for this warm welcome.
Thank you John for demonstrating your impeccable French to everyone as well. It’s a great pleasure to be welcomed in your own language.
Really, it’s a pleasure to be here today and to hear so many kind words about me and about our country.
It reminds me of something that Mark Twain said in 1881, when he was the guest of honour at an event in my hometown of Montreal. He said, “that a banquet should be given to me in this ostensibly foreign land and this great city and that my ears should be greeted by such complimentary words and such distinguished lips are eminent surprises to me and also deeply gratifying.” Of course, he went on to say that during his time in Quebec he had behaved with propriety and distinction, discretion, and had meddled nowhere but in the election.
Well, let me assure you I’ll be sticking with propriety and discretion!
I do understand Twain’s gratitude though. It is with that same sense of appreciation that I extend my thanks on behalf of Sophie and our entire Canadian delegation, and indeed on behalf of all Canadians, for your warm and generous welcome. We are honoured to be your guests today.
We’re here in Washington to celebrate and strengthen the friendship between our two countries and also to roll up our sleeves and get some real work done, because when Canadians and Americans do that, when we work together, the results can transform the world.
Together we’ve negotiated trade agreements that have extended opportunities for Canadian and American businesses, created millions of good, well-paying jobs for our workers, and made more products more affordable for more Canadian and American families. Just this morning we announced a continental strategy to combat the gravest challenge now facing our planet: climate change.
By working shoulder to shoulder on the global stage, we’ve defended democracy and freedom for those who wish to express themselves freely and elect their government in an honest way. Together, we’ve showed the rest of the world that co-operation and respect get many more results than cynicism and mistrust. That’s why moments like these are so important.
These moments are important because they are an opportunity to work through our differences. They give us a chance to affirm all that we’ve accomplished so far, and most importantly, they help us chart the course for what comes next.
Secretary Kerry, John, when you visited Canada back in January you expressed your hope that our countries would work together, along with our partner Mexico, to exercise positive, ambitious leadership, and to advance our shared vision of a safe, growing, prosperous and competitive North America.
I give you my pledge that Canada is committed to doing just that.
We will do our part to offer a positive and inclusive brand of leadership, and we will work with you to help secure a better future for all our citizens, especially for those on whom our economic security rests, the middle class, and those working so hard to join it.
I don’t want to keep you any longer. I know that Montreal’s own Spike Mendelsohn has helped to prepare today’s meal and I am as eager as you are to enjoy it, if not more so. So, I would ask you all now to join me in a toast:
To the Secretary of State, to all gathered here today and to the people of the United States of America, may we continue to show the world what friendship between neighbours truly means.