Prime Minister's remarks on Canada Day
Happy Canada Day!
Happy Canada Day, everyone!
Usually, as a country, our main concerns today would be to start the barbecue at the right time and to decide whether to let our children stay up to watch the fireworks.
Many of you are still probably thinking about those things but, this year, they are far from the only challenges you are thinking about.
For our family, and probably for yours, Canada Day is not the same this year.
Things have changed. Our lives have changed.
However, we can adapt and work it out as we always do.
Let me give a huge shout-out to the amazing volunteers here with the Ottawa Food Bank, spending the day harvesting fresh vegetables for families in need.
And Justin and I, and the kids, we’re so happy to be able to lend a hand.
Right across the country, we’re celebrating inspiring people like everyone here today.
People like them, but also so many of you who have turned a challenge into an opportunity to unite as citizens and as a country.
This year is unlike any other. But it’s certainly not the first time that our country has celebrated today during tough times.
80 years ago, our parents and grandparents marked this day almost a year into the Second World War.
That weekend’s edition of the Toronto Star told them that they were living in “circumstances such as no one imagined would come to pass.”
Well, eight decades later, that sounds pretty familiar.
Maybe you’re able to spend today with family and friends – something I don’t think anyone will take for granted after this spring.
But maybe that’s not possible for you. Maybe you’re celebrating without someone you love.
A mum who’s a frontline worker. A friend who hasn’t been able to come home. A loved one you’ve lost to this terrible virus.
The last few months have been hard, and on this Canada Day, we need to continue to be there for each other.
As Canadians, we understand how important it is to be there for each other.
Solidarity isn’t only part of our identity: it’s our way of life.
We have lived through too many long winters not to help a stranger dig their car out of a snowbank.
Because as Canadians, when times are tough, we don’t turn our backs on people. We help each other.
We are there for the most vulnerable, and those who are suffering. We think about the people we love and even those we don’t know.
The reason that our communities are resilient – and I know that they are – the reason that Canada stands strong and united – and I know that it does – is the choices that Canadians make every single day.
The nurses and doctors who protect those around them. The women and men in uniform who serve at home and overseas. And the people, of every age, faith, and creed, who stand by one another.
In recent months, we have joined forces from coast to coast to get through some tough times.
And we now have the opportunity to build a better Canada for everyone.
This is our challenge for 2020 and the years to come.
And I know that we can do it.
What makes Canada special is not that we know that this is the best country in the world – it’s that we know that it could be. We know our work together is not yet done.
Not until every senior has a safe place to live.
Not while anyone faces racism or injustice.
Not while we still have so far to go on the path of reconciliation.
Where we go from here is up to each of us.
In the last few months, we have seen what it means to be good neighbours and to be members of such a closely knit community.
We understand to what extent we can depend on each other.
We’ll never lose our bearings.
As Canadians, we share a vision for our country. And we want to get there together.
That’s why we keep each other motivated.
We lift each other up.
We have each other’s backs but we also have each other’s hearts.
We are so proud as Canadians to know that our reputation is that we are strong because of our diversity.
And through these difficult times, not only is the world watching, our kids are watching.
So to all the kids out there, you’ve been so amazing, and we are so proud of you.
You are the leaders of today and tomorrow. Together, we are unstoppable.
When the Toronto Star in 1940 remarked that people were celebrating this day at a difficult time, they also said this:
“It has become Canada’s century. Canada’s century of opportunity to change the course of history.”
That was the reality our parents and grandparents were called to face. That was the challenge to which they rose. And this is the country they built.
On this Canada Day, it is our turn. We must now restart and rebuild a Canada for the 21st century. My friends, I know that together, we are ready.
Happy Canada Day, everyone! We love you.