Prime Minister Trudeau’s Message for Canada Day
July 1, 2017
Hello, everyone! Happy Canada Day!
Today, we celebrate 150 years since Confederation. It’s a day to celebrate our past, and look boldly towards our future.
The story of Canada, at its heart, is the story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The courage of Viola Desmond. The tenacity of Terry Fox. The leadership of Thérèse Casgrain. It’s in these people that the true story of Canada is told. Their triumphs are unique, but the values that underpin them are not. Because they are distinctly and definitively Canadian values.
This country has given us so much to be grateful for. And our greatest pride is that you can come here from anywhere in the world and build a good life. We don’t care where you’re from or what religion you practice or who you love. You are all welcome in Canada. Diversity has been at the very core of Canada for centuries. It is the foundation on which our great country was built.
But today, while many of us celebrate Canada 150, others do not. Indigenous Peoples in this country have faced racism and oppression for centuries – since early explorers believed they had found a new world. As a society, we must acknowledge and apologize for past wrongs, and chart a path forward one that promises a bright future for all Canadians. We’ve got a long way to go to make things right with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. But we have begun that journey.
And in doing so, we vow to set a new course for the next 150 years. We must create the right conditions so that the middle class, and those working hard to join it, can build a good life for themselves and their families. And we have to innovate and work together to combat climate change, one of the greatest crises facing our planet. It’s up to us to leave our kids and grandkids with a better future. And we can do it. I know we can.
So today, let’s commit to doing what we do best. Let’s lead with courage and compassion. Let’s show that diversity is a source of strength, and that an open and welcoming country is a stronger and more united one. Above all, let’s never lose sight of a fairer, more sustainable world, and the role we must play in achieving it.
On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish you a very happy Canada Day.