Remarks at the Canada Day Daytime Ceremony
Happy Canada Day!
Jeremy, I want to start by thanking you for your introduction but most of all, I want to thank you for inspiring us all, in the coming year as the first Canadian ever who will travel to the moon!
Thank you to the Indigenous elders for their words and blessings, and thank you to the artists for their performances. My family and I are very pleased to be celebrating here with all of you.
Today marks the 156th anniversary of our great country. Some of you have ancestors that were here way before Confederation, and some of you arrived more recently, like the new Canadian citizens we just welcomed.
Antony, Armel, Sylvie, Alric, Anaël, Dianne, Nicolas, Jolan, Joshua, Ralph, Jessica, Rana, Hala, Ibrahim, Youssef, Jud, Gazal; Canada is now officially your home.
Welcome my friends.
Welcome to Canada, a country where we celebrate differences and diversity, a country where we are free to be whoever we want and to love whoever we want, a country where everyone has a genuine fair shot at success, a country where we recognize past mistakes and work tirelessly to build a better future, a better tomorrow for everyone!
My friends, the world and our country, are facing incredible challenges right now; war has returned to Europe, climate change is making extreme weather like wildfires, floods, and hurricanes even worse; inflation, although it is getting better, is still putting real stress on families. But no matter the challenges we face, we will get through it, the same way we always do, by staying true to our values.
It’s by remaining true to who we are and our values that we are able to rise to these challenges, with values like compassion, commitment and accountability.
Values like justice, openness, and democracy; that’s Canada’s advantage in the world, now more than ever.
When we encounter trying times, Canadians are there to lend a hand. Our country has essential resources and magnificent landscapes. But our real strength is you, the people. Thank you to the farmers, fishers and small business owners who work so hard to put quality food on our tables. Thank you to the construction workers who build our homes, roadways and bridges. Thank you to the nurses, doctors and all the frontline workers in hospitals across our country.
Thank you to all the workers who are powering our economy, from delivering energy to Canadians, to making clean tech and clean steel around the world.
Thank you to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who put their lives on the line to protect our citizens and our values at home and abroad.
And in this smoky Ottawa air, thank you to the first responders and brave firefighters, including friends from around the world who are right now keeping our communities safe in these difficult times. You know, last week I had the honour of meeting two Canadian heroes: Captain Kevin Corcoran and firefighter Connor Scoot, who serve in the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services. When they got a call about a man who was at home inside the danger zone, they didn’t hesitate. They jumped in a pickup truck and drove through a wall of fire to save that man’s life.
When I met them, they were wearing their firefighter uniforms with the Canadian flag on it, and I thought to myself, these guys with their courage and their humility, embody the very best of what the maple leaf represents for us all.
That’s what makes Canada what it is! People from one ocean to another helping out each other.
Throughout history, people have looked to Canada as an amazing place, but increasingly now, people are coming to Canada to proudly call it their home, and build their lives and our communities, and our country all together, and that’s why today we celebrate the fact that Canada now counts 40 million people!
Although, given the citizenship ceremony we just had, we’re now at least 40 million and seventeen. Congratulations guys.
People from around the globe are making Canada their home because their ideas and ambitions align with ours. We are proud to say that in Canada, diversity is our strength. I think of warrant officer Avril Jno-Baptiste-Jones, born in Dominica, who served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 25 years. I think about Maryam Salehizadeh, originally from Iran, who competed in the Tokyo Paralympic Games as a member of the Canadian team.
I think of Kimahli Powell of Rainbow Railroad who was born and raised in Canada by Jamaican-born parents. Kimahli now works to help 2SLGBTQIP+ refugees escape violence and persecution around the world and brings them to safety here in Canada.
Every day Canadians of diverse origins are enriching and shaping our communities from coast to coast to coast. Canada has the fastest growing population among industrialized economies, and we’re the second-fastest growing economy in the G7.
But together, let’s keep working to build a prosperous and resilient future.
And let’s continue making sure that all of our children know that here, everyone can follow their dreams, even if those dreams are to follow in the footsteps of Jeremy Hansen and go to the moon! Because in Canada with hope and hard work, everything is possible.
Happy Canada Day to everyone!