Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks at the Caring & Sharing Children’s Christmas Gala in Toronto
Thank you, Dwight. How’s everyone doing today? I have to say there are an awful lot of very special guests here, but I am personally totally stoked to be with Rocky and Marshall and Chase and Skye. How’s that? I am so glad I can be here to spend time with you guys this morning. It’s an incredible event and there are so many people to thank off the top. I especially want to acknowledge Rick Gosling, who started the first Children’s Breakfast Club more than 30 years ago. We need to thank Nick and everyone here at the Liberty Grand for this beautiful space. I want to thank Centennial College and North American Produce Buyers for helping provide this wonderful meal, all the fantastic volunteers who help make this event. And of course we have to thank Spin Master for donating the toys!
These contributions are what sharing and caring are all about. And that’s what I want to focus on today, on all the ways we can show that we care and on the importance of sharing those gifts with others. And just so you know, these aren’t things that I think about just because I’m Prime Minister. I’m also a dad. I have three kids. Xavier is 10, Ella Grace is eight, and Hadrian, who taught me all about Paw Patrol, is three years old. And I’m a teacher too. That was my job before I got into politics. I mostly taught math and French.
Speaking of which, I'm now going to speak a bit of French. So don’t worry, there’s no test.
Long before I went to university and started working, I was a kid, just like you. I had two younger brothers, and together, we were experts at getting on each other’s nerves. So I kind of come at these ideas from a bunch of different angles. I know that it’s not easy to be a kid. When other kids are annoying you, it’s hard to be patient and kind.
I know it’s not always easy to be a kid. I know that when other kids are annoying you, being patient and kind can feel like the hardest thing in the world. It is hard and it’s hard for grown-ups too. Some things never change.
But there are things you can do, whether you’re eight or 88 -- that can really make a difference, that can make your life better and everyone else’s life better too.
The first thing you can do is to try and include everyone. That means including boys and girls in all your activities, old friends and new kids, students who look like you, students who don’t look like you, students who dress differently or speak a different language or come to Canada from a different part of the world.
If you see someone sitting all alone at the breakfast club, you can invite them to join you. Or you can just go and sit beside them yourself. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had kids and adults tell me that their lives were changed just by the simple act of being included.
You have the power to do that. You don’t need anyone’s permission. You don’t need to get your friends’ approval. Your real friends will be proud of you for including others and for doing the right thing.
The second thing that you can do to show others that you care, is to show care and concern for yourself. This means taking personal responsibility for the things that you control.
The second thing you can do to show others that you care is to show care and concern for yourself. This means taking personal responsibility for the things that you control. When you’re a kid, I know there’s a lot of things you can’t control: where you live, who you live with, how much money there is to go around. There’s not a lot you can do about all that.
But there still is a lot that you can control. You can help out without being asked. You can have a positive attitude at home and at school and you can try your best every day. Now that’s a very personal thing. Maybe you’re really good at math and you don’t have to try that hard to get good marks. Well, try hard anyway. Maybe you’re a great writer and you can get away with writing a book report the night before it’s due. If you do a good enough job, your teacher won’t know, right?
Well, first of all, teachers can always tell. It’s our job and we’re very good at it. But more than that, you need to try hard anyway. You need to do your best work even if you come up short because even then you’ll know that you tried. And that’s someone that no one… something that no one can take away from you.
The third thing you can do is believe in yourself. I know that’s hard sometimes, but there are a lot of people in this room and in your life who are cheering for you, and I’m one of them. I believe in you. I know that you can and will do great things. I know that the world is already a better place because you’re in it and the things that you do. It’s your job to learn and grow and figure out what you’re really passionate about, to work hard so you can discover cures for diseases, invent new technologies that will help protect our planet, help make poverty and homelessness something we only read about in history books and help give all our lives more meaning through your art, through your novels and plays and music and dance.
And you won’t have to do it alone. The people who care for you, your families, your teachers, the folks here in this room are all working hard to make sure that you have the best start.
The people who care for you – your families, your teachers, the folks here in this room – we are all working hard to make sure you have the very best start.
Not just to your school day but to your lives. That’s the reason the children’s breakfast club exists today. Giving kids a great start is why our government started something called the Canada Child Benefit, to help families pay for the things kids need like new shoes or an extra gym class or money for field trips. And it’s why so many of the people you see here today, police officers and firefighters, paramedics and teachers, adults from all walks of life, volunteer to work with young people because they see your potential and they want you to see it too.
That’s the message I want to leave everyone with here today. If you include everyone, if you try your best and if you believe in yourself, there are no limits to what you will achieve.
Thank you very much my friends. Thank you all so much!