Governor General David Johnston’s Canada Day Message
July 1, 2017
Happy birthday, Canada!
We desire a better country.
That spirit – of inclusiveness and of constant improvement – is the spirit behind Confederation, achieved 150 years ago to this very day.
It’s a spirit based upon the guiding principles of peace, fairness and respect between diverse peoples.
Working together, despite our differences, toward the better country we desire.
This is the spirit of Canada, and it’s our answer to the questions: what do we stand for as Canadians? What do we cherish above all?
We haven’t always lived up to our principles. We try, we fail, we try again.
We desire a better country, and we become one – one person at a time, one act a time, one day at a time, year after year after year.
This is what we’re all about.
This is what it means to be Canadian.
Today, a century-and-a-half after Confederation, we celebrate how far we’ve come!
This is such a blessed country, made great by its people, its landscapes, its remarkably diverse rural and urban communities.
It has been an immense privilege to serve as governor general and Her Majesty’s representative in Canada.
At Rideau Hall, at the Citadelle of Québec and across this vast country, my wife, Sharon, and I have met with so many thoughtful, talented and compassionate Canadians.
We have seen countless examples of unforgettable kindness and caring.
We have heard and celebrated remarkable stories of innovation and creativity.
Through it all, we have learned so much.
These are exciting, challenging times, and together we can show the world what a great nation looks like in today’s context.
To me, it looks like Canada, a country that always strives to be smarter and more caring.
Keep going, Canada! Happy 150th!