Canada turns 153 this year and is stronger than ever. Together we have built a diverse, bilingual country that is the envy of the world. Together we are making Canada a peaceful, free and safe place for families and communities, where people of all backgrounds can fully take part in our democracy. And today, united in spirit, we celebrate these values, which make us proud.
This year, Canadians have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by caring for each other and reaching out to help family, friends and neighbours. On this day, let’s be proud of the people that make up this beautiful country and take the opportunity to connect with fellow Canadians of all backgrounds. Let’s continue this work to get through this crisis together and be stronger because of it.
Recently, we have shown how we feel about a different epidemic: racism. Throughout the country, Canadians have marched and stood in solidarity against racism, wanting to see change happen. This day is an opportunity to pause and reflect upon the Canada that we want. It is the perfect time to unite, and to highlight a nation that promotes diversity and inclusion. We cannot forget that inclusion constantly needs effort, and there is much more that we all must do to meet these ideals. As Canadians, we need to work hard to remain a nation that values the richness and contributions of all members of our society, regardless of race, religion, economic status or gender.
While our celebrations this year are virtual, they will allow us to see and experience this country we all love in new and exciting ways. Our Canada Day events will commemorate some key events in our history, including the 40th anniversary of the official adoption of our national anthem, “O Canada”, as well as the essential role the Métis Nation played in Manitoba joining Confederation 150 years ago.
Today, we must also acknowledge the cultures and traditions of the First Nations, Inuit and the Métis people who have helped shape our country. Throughout the day, we will get the chance to show our commitment to reconciliation while celebrating the richness and diversity of Indigenous heritage and languages.
I invite you to have a look at the wide range of virtual activities offered across the country. The values, history, talent and creativity of Canada are on display for every Canadian to share and enjoy. It is important now, more than ever, that we come together from coast to coast to coast to celebrate our history and culture.
Happy Canada Day!