Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks at the Rolling Rampage Event in Ottawa
Thank you very much my friends. What a tremendous pleasure it is to be here today to celebrate this extraordinary event. Indeed it’s been a few years that I’ve been a supporter of this. I got to do a few wheelchair races, but the Honourable Former Senator did it with Laurier back in his day...
So he’s been around for a while. What a real pleasure to be able to celebrate with so many people this extraordinary event. I’ll just ask for my speaking points which would be appreciated...
To make sure I don’t... I don’t forget everyone.
Thank you all for being here, Senators, speakers, friends, it’s a pleasure to be here today as part of the Rolling Rampage on the Hill. I want to thank the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons for putting together such a great event. This race is a wonderful way to highlight some of the world’s most talented athletes and get people talking about how we can work together to make our world more accessible.
I also want to thank your co-chairs Senator Petitclerc, Senator Martin, Senator Munson, Senator Marwah, for their hard work, and I acknowledge my colleague, Minister Kent Hehr. Kent, as you all know, has been mandated by this government to put together Canada’s first... well, when we first conceived of it within the platform, it was Canada’s... Canadian Disability Act. Then we realized that it would be better to talk about it in the positive, and we talked about Canada’s first ever accessibility legislation. Now we’re talking about moving towards a Canada free of barriers, whatever they may be.
There’s all sorts of hard work we’re doing on it, but we know there’s an opportunity that Canadians expect of us all to lead in making sure that everyone has every opportunity to succeed in every possible way, regardless of the barriers they may face in their lives, and that’s very much the focus, and I thank you for all your hard work on that Kent.
I’d also like to start by congratulating the athletes on their incredible accomplishments and thanking them for everything they do for their communities. Whether you are on the podium today or not, whether you participated in the race as an amateur or a professional, you represent the world’s future, a future where everyone can fulfill their dreams and live their passion to the fullest. Let me explain why.
The 21 professional athletes who took part in the race are examples of determination, ambition and courage. You clearly demonstrated that to us this morning and it was incredible. Your talent is both impressive and inspiring. You are role models not only for people with disabilities but also for those who strive to be bold and resilient and demonstrate excellence. We have plenty to learn from people like you, who are living proof that anything is possible.
And as for those of you who took part in the amateur race, way to go!
By racing this morning, youth sought to understand the challenges facing millions of Canadians and people around the world every day. Challenges and barriers that exist but that are too often overlooked by those who do not have a disability.
I remember the first time I ever spent a morning in a wheelchair for an event like this, it was astonishing to me how carpet that was slightly too lush was an incredible barrier that I had never seen, never understood, and the learning process has continued since then as we learn to understand and reduce the barriers to full access and full participation in every aspect of life we need to develop.
If we are to address and reduce those obstacles, we must recognize that we all have a role to play in raising awareness and making our communities more accessible. So thank you for taking part in this race and taking the time to understand a reality that may be different from your own.
Once again, thank you to everyone for coming, and so many of you at that, to celebrate the incredible talent of these accomplished athletes and to support such a good cause.
Thank you everyone for being part of this truly inspiring event.