Canadian PM: At the heart of Canada’s story are millions of ordinary people doing extraordinary things
Justin Trudeau with Prince Charles
#Canada150, # JustinTrudeau, #PrinceCharles, # ParliamentHill, #JenniferSidey, #Joshua Kutryk
Ottawa, July 1 (Canadian-Media): On the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we celebrate the millions of Canadians who have come together to make our country the strong, prosperous and open place it is today, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Saturday on Parliament Hill attended by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, media reports said.
An estimated 25,000 people dressed in red and white were greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his son Hadrien during Canada 150 celebrations in Ottawa on Saturday, July 1, 2017, media reports said.
“Canada’s story stretches back long before Confederation, to the first people who worked, loved, and built their lives here, and to those who came here centuries later in search of a better life for their families,” stated Trudeau on Canada Day.
Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and their three young children, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as Governor General David Johnston and his wife Sharon were also present for Canada Day festivities.
Earlier Saturday, Prince Charles met with Trudeau at Rideau Hall, where the royal became an extraordinary companion of the Order of Canada.
Prince Charles, in his speech said that Canada is globally known as a champion of human rights, a peacekeeper and an agent of the environment and natural resources.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we should be clear and proud that we are celebrating a country that others look to for example,” the prince said. “An example of fairness and inclusion. Of always striving to be better.”
Trudeau also named, during the ceremony in Ottawa, two Albertans Jennifer Sidey of Calgary and Joshua Kutryk of Fort Saskatchewan as Canada's newest astronauts.
While speaking to the crowd, Trudeau said Canada’s 150 years’ celebrations marking confederation is also time for us to “reflect on our past, cheer on today, and recommit ourselves to the future.”
“For thousands of years, in this place, people have met, traded, built, loved, lost, fought and grieved. They built strong communities, they worked hard to build better lives for their kids and learned to lean on their neighbours,” said Trudeau.
Firefighters commissioned for the festivities were able to speed up the crowds to move, after the security clearance of the crowd to get to Parliament Hill grounds.
The gloomy weather and long wait failed to dampen the spirits of the revellers.
U2 frontman Bono and guitarist the Edge entertained the audience while they were being speeded up to Parliament Hill grounds.
Cheering Canada for its welcoming Syrian refugees, Bono said: "Where others build walls you open doors."
Canada Day celebrations were flooded with notes of congratulations and birthday wishes by dignitaries and politicians from across the world.
Full text of Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement on this day is given below:
“Today, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. We come together as Canadians to celebrate the achievements of our great country, reflect on our past and present, and look boldly toward our future.
“Canada’s story stretches back long before Confederation, to the first people who worked, loved, and built their lives here, and to those who came here centuries later in search of a better life for their families. In 1867, the vision of Sir George-Étienne Cartier and Sir John A. Macdonald, among others, gave rise to Confederation – an early union, and one of the moments that have come to define Canada.
“In the 150 years since, we have continued to grow and define ourselves as a country. We fought valiantly in two world wars, built the infrastructure that would connect us, and enshrined our dearest values – equality, diversity, freedom of the individual, and two official languages – in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These moments, and many others, shaped Canada into the extraordinary country it is today – prosperous, generous, and proud.
“At the heart of Canada’s story are millions of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They exemplify what it means to be Canadian: ambitious aspirations, leadership driven by compassion, and the courage to dream boldly. Whether we were born here or have chosen Canada as our home, this is who we are.
“Ours is a land of Indigenous Peoples, settlers, and newcomers, and our diversity has always been at the core of our success. Canada’s history is built on countless instances of people uniting across their differences to work and thrive together. We express ourselves in French, English, and hundreds of other languages, we practice many faiths, we experience life through different cultures, and yet we are one country. Today, as has been the case for centuries, we are strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them.
“As we mark Canada 150, we also recognize that for many, today is not an occasion for celebration. Indigenous Peoples in this country have faced oppression for centuries. As a society, we must acknowledge and apologize for past wrongs, and chart a path forward for the next 150 years – one in which we continue to build our nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationship with the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation.
“Our efforts toward reconciliation reflect a deep Canadian tradition – the belief that better is always possible. Our job now is to ensure every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success. We must create the right conditions so that the middle class, and those working hard to join it, can build a better life for themselves and their families.
“Great promise and responsibility await Canada. As we look ahead to the next 150 years, we will continue to rise to the most pressing challenges we face, climate change among the first ones. We will meet these challenges the way we always have – with hard work, determination, and hope.
“On the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we celebrate the millions of Canadians who have come together to make our country the strong, prosperous, and open place it is today. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Canada Day.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)