Prime Minister Trudeau delivers a message on Canada Day
Today is an opportunity to celebrate our country and everyone who calls it home.
But it’s also an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved as a country and what more we have to do.
This past year and a half has been difficult.
The pandemic has changed our daily lives, taught us hard lessons, and kept us apart.
But if this difficult time has taught us all one thing – it’s that in times of challenge or crisis, Canadians are there for one another.
We have all helped our communities stay safe and healthy.
We sat through countless Zoom birthdays and milestones.
We put signs up in our windows and banged on pots and pans for our front-line health care heroes.
We ordered take-out and shopped local to help our small businesses.
Our kids skipped graduations and sleepovers.
And following the horrific discoveries of hundreds of children at the sites of former residential schools in BC and Saskatchewan, we all stopped to reflect on the historical and ongoing injustices.
And we – as Canadians – must be honest with ourselves about our history.
Because in order to chart a new and better path forward, we have to recognize the terrible mistakes of our past.
The truth is, we’ve got a long way to go to make things right with Indigenous Peoples, but if we all pledge ourselves to doing the work, we can achieve reconciliation.
We can build a better country for everyone.
Because Canada’s history also shows us that we can do hard things.
It’s a choice we make – and one that Canadians have made time and time again.
Now, as we work to finish the fight against COVID-19 and build back better, I know that the same values that Canadians have lived this past year – hope, hard work, kindness, resilience, and respect – will carry us forward.
My friends, what makes Canada special is not the belief that this is the best country in the world – it’s the knowledge that we could be.
And until everyone feels safe walking the streets of our communities, until everyone has the same opportunities to succeed, until everyone can live their lives free from discrimination, hatred, and violence, we have work to do.
But whether it’s ending the pandemic, tackling the climate crisis, standing against intolerance, or walking the path of reconciliation, no challenge we face will be too great, if we face it together.
Because the progress we’ve made as country didn’t happen by accident, and won’t continue without effort.
So today, as we celebrate this amazing place we all call home and the people we share it with, let’s also recommit ourselves to doing the hard work, together.
And tomorrow, let’s tackle our challenges head-on, so we can build a better future for all.
Happy Canada Day, everyone!