Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

July 01, 2014 08:45 ET

Message from the Governor General of Canada on the Occasion of Canada Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 1, 2014) - On this Canada Day, my wife, Sharon, and I hope all Canadians will enjoy time with family and friends. This is, after all, such a wonderful nation to celebrate.

Throughout the year, we have connected with people across the country and around the world. We have honoured Canadians for the work they have done, for their accomplishments, and for their bravery and compassion.

We have been inspired by communities, cultures and histories, but, most of all, the people.

We have learned much from every Canadian who works hard to make this a smarter, more caring place to live.

Wherever Sharon and I go, we see Canadians discovering what we like to call "giving moments," that is, ways in which people are making their communities better places to live.

Giving moments are all around us.

They are embodied in volunteers, who give of their time and talent.

They are represented by philanthropists, who donate to a variety of causes.

Giving moments are created by young people, who realize they can make a difference today, and by neighbours and strangers, who help in small, but significant ways.

Giving moments happen in every community, in every province and territory. And what is truly special is that every one-every single Canadian-has already had a giving moment. Our hope is that we will come to recognize them when they happen and to build on them.

Because when we add all these moments up, a picture emerges of a strong, compassionate Canada. Ours is a country that cares for the well-being of others; a country with a heart as vast and as open as its landscape.

We have seen this time and again, but we know there is always more to be done. And now is the time to do it.

On Canada Day, we celebrate all that is exceptional about our country, but we must not gloss over the fact that there are those who still need help. We must be willing to ask, "What more can I do?"

This year, we mark the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, a precursor to Confederation-one of the most important steps towards unity. Moreover, we are only three short years away from Canada's 150th birthday. Now is the time to decide who we want to be on that auspicious day. Will we be a compassionate nation? Will we look beyond our borders to create a better world? Will our country set the global bar for kindness and caring, or will the bar be set for us?

What kind of country will your Canada be?

The countdown is on, and I can think of no better people to rise to this challenge than Canadians.

On this day, Sharon and I urge you to discover what you have to give, how you can create a better future, one giving moment at a time. Canada is a magnificent country and Canadians everywhere are working to make this a fairer, more just world. Let us continue to do so together.

As governor general and commander-in-chief of Canada, as a father and grandfather, and as a proud Canadian, I wish all of you a safe and joyous Canada Day.

David Johnston

Please note that the video version of this message is also available on www.gg.ca.

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