For the record: ‘Canada is our common ground.’

Read Canada Day messages from the PM, the GG, Rona Ambrose, and Thomas Mulcair

REUTERS/Ammar Awad

REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:                      

Happy Birthday Canada.  On this day 149 years ago the people of this great land came together.  There would no longer be an Upper Canada or a Lower Canada, a Canada West or a Canada East.  Instead there would be one nation, one country, one Canada.

From the outset Canada was formed not in spite of differences but because of them.  Today as we celebrate our nation’s birthday let us also celebrate our diversity.  It united us in the past.  It binds us together today and it is at the very heart of our future success.

No matter our faith, where we were born, what colour our skin, what language we speak or whom we love, we are all equal members of this great country.   We have all worked very hard to build the diverse inclusive and prosperous nation that we all love so much.  I believe Canada and Canadians like you represent the very best vision of the future for our world.

On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish you a very happy Canada Day.  Joyeuse fête du Canada.

Governor General David Johnston:

They desire a better country. That’s the motto of the Order of Canada which is of course the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system and a reflection of what makes this country so great, its people. Today I want to borrow and adjust that motto a little as we celebrate and reflect on what makes Canada so special.

We desire a better country. That’s what makes Canada so special. Let me tell you why I think that. I think of the past year and the remarkable response of Canadians to the Syrian refugee crisis. People showed extraordinary compassion and generosity in welcoming the Syrians in their time of great need.

I think of the bravery and caring Canadians displayed during the wildfires in Fort McMurray. In communities near to and far from the fires people opened their arms to welcome those forced to flee their homes. From coast to coast to coast people donated money and resources to help.

I think of the reaction of Canadians to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and how we must demonstrate our commitment to a more fair, just and equitable society. In communities across the country people are listening, learning and pledging to do better in partnership with indigenous peoples.

First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples themselves are bravely and resolutely building stronger communities and helping Canada to realize its full potential. I think of the countless Canadians who are pausing to remember our veterans who courageously served and sacrificed 100 years ago in the terrible battles of the Somme and the Beaumont Hamel.

I’ve seen firsthand in cities and towns across this vast land all of these acts of kindness and justice and respect and remembrance taking place. Welcoming refugees, fighting fires, striving for reconciliation, remembering veterans, these are just a few of the reasons why I say we desire a better country.

These are challenging times but Canadians understand how much we have in common. Canada is our common ground. One year from now we will mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Let’s keep desiring a better country for all. What better gift could we give? Happy Birthday Canada.

Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Official Opposition and interim Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada:

Today is Canada Day, a day to celebrate our great nation and to be thankful for the wonderful privilege of being Canadian citizens. Canada is the best country in the world – a place of liberty, strength, and acceptance. In the 149 years since Confederation, Canada has been a country of firm moral conviction on the world stage, and a place of boundless opportunity for those who call it home.

We also take time on this day to recognize and honour our veterans and the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as the families of those who serve. We thank them for their service to our country, for their bravery in the most dangerous parts of the globe, and for maintaining the safety and security we enjoy every day.

This day, we join together to express our deepest gratitude for the opportunity to live in – and help build – a nation as proud as Canada. We know that many do not have the freedom and security that we sometimes take for granted as part of daily life. We Conservatives will continue to support Canada’s ability to help those who do not have the same fundamental rights that Canadians do. Far too many are still persecuted for their religious beliefs, for their heritage, or even for their gender. Canada must stand up for the rights of those who are the targets of hate and violence. That is why Conservatives are proud to stand up for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world.

And to our fellow citizens, our neighbours, and our loved ones, let us continue to share with each other that Canadian spirit of goodwill and friendship. We Canadians are at our best when given the opportunity to help those around us. This was never clearer than this year, when the terrible fires of Fort McMurray devastated that proud community. Yet Canadians rallied for Fort Mac, and we know it is already preparing to emerge stronger than ever with the support for a nation behind it.

I urge you to take the time today to be with family and friends, and to celebrate the wonderful country we all share.

From my family to yours, I wish you a safe and happy Canada Day.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair:

New Democrats join Canadians everywhere today, in celebrating the 149th anniversary of our great country.

Our diversity, openness, and respect for one another have created a country that is the envy of many around the world.

Canada Day is an opportunity for friends and family to come together not only in celebration but to take stock of our shared values and all that we’ve accomplished together.

There are many reasons to be a proud Canadian today, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We can do so much more to protect our environment, defend the vulnerable, and reduce the inequalities in our communities.

Let’s continue to work together to build a fairer and more prosperous Canada for our children and grandchildren.

On behalf of all New Democrats, I wish you and your family a fun and memorable Canada Day.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.