PRIME Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday delivered the following remarks at the Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill:
ONCE again … as we celebrate this special day this year, we have much to be proud of and much to be thankful for. We are a prosperous and optimistic country. We are a kind and generous society. And we are a compassionate friend and a reliable ally.
This is our Canada! A country that is confident on the world stage. A country where people live in freedom. A country where hard work and entrepreneurship mean more than where you come from or the people you know.
These are all reasons to be grateful because friends, when we look around the world, we see that Canada stands unique among the nations. In times of never-ending economic and political turmoil in the world, our country is an island of stability. At this moment in our history, there is no better place in the world to live, to work and to raise a family. No better place in the world than this country, Canada!
Ours is a story of heroic effort over many generations: by our first, Aboriginal peoples; by the many explorers, like Sir John Franklin and his crew; by the pioneers who settled a vast, untamed land; thanks to the visionaries, our Fathers of Confederation, who united our territory and joined it together with a ribbon of steel; by the waves of immigrants who helped raise great cities out of the wilderness, by the athletes and performers who makes us so proud. All of whom have built what Canada is today: more confident, more prosperous, more united than ever, the best country in the world!
… The greatness of this country is no accident. It is built on an unshakeable foundation of values: freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, which is what draws people here from around the world. And those are the values for which our men and women in uniform put everything on the line, every day, in our defence.
I recently met some of these heroes who defend this country, our Canadian Armed Forces personnel. In the Baltic and in Eastern Europe, they are supporting our friends and allies who face Russian aggression. And in Iraq and in Kuwait, they are fighting the terrorists there, to keep us safe here.
Now …, as we saw right here in our Parliament, this threat is everywhere today. But we have faced great threats before, many times, and we have overcome them. And we shall overcome them once more. So, let’s hear it for the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces!
… Today as we celebrate the Canada that we are so fortunate to call home, let us honour the hard work of all the everyday heroes, of the many generations who have built this country. And let us also honour them, as we approach the 150th anniversary of Confederation, by continuing their work. Let us pledge to pass on a better Canada to future generations.
Canada, our home and native land, past, present, and future, strong, proud, and free.
Happy Canada Day, everyone.