Why

As I have travelled the country, and exchanged with remarkable people, and have had the privilege of recognizing their excellence and their leadership through the Canadian Honours System, it strikes me every single time how fortunate we are to live here in Canada. What makes our country a welcoming country, a prosperous and vibrant country are you, Canadians, and all of those who came to live with us in Canada. Yes, our deep sense of fairness, but it is our unique diversity of people that is what makes Canada.

Right now, on the International Space Station, including Drew Feustel, there are six astronauts of different nationalities. Due to the complexity of the mission and the harshness of the environment of space, space agencies have decided a long time ago to work together and to think outside the boundaries of the microcosm of nationalities, so that they can push the boundaries of the known world as partners in a collaborative manner and with peaceful intent.

The presence of the astronauts on the International Space Station inspires us and shows us the importance and the beauty of this planet. We have a responsibility, all of us, to put it back in proper shape for future generations because young ones, they are our future.

So some lessons can be brought back from space to earth because big questions and global issues, clearly they know no borders, no timetable, and they truly need our attention. We live in a complicated world, and nothing is simple, but even in these fast changing times, we must stay true to ourselves, and stay true to our values, and continue to look out for people who have less, to stand up for those who can’t, to welcome those who seek harbour, and to use our land intelligently.

To ensure our prosperity we must never stop asking questions and exploring new horizons. Canada, this is your birthday, this is your celebration, and wherever you may be, here or abroad, or serving the nation, or in space, wear your colours proudly, celebrate your way, have fun, and wear your maple leaf with pride. Happy birthday Canada.

Julie Payette
Governor General of Canada
Canada Day, 2018.07.01