Presentation of Canadian Honours
Iqaluit, Sunday, May 31, 2009
For generations, women and men have shaped Canada: artists, researchers, thinkers, teachers, students, journalists, architects, and military personnel, as well as people from all walks of life who have been recognized for their bravery, meritorious service and altruism.
As governor general of Canada, I enjoy recognizing these role models, these historic and everyday heroes. I am touched, proud and inspired every single time.
I firmly believe that the true strength of a country lies in its citizens’ willingness to help one another and to contribute to the common good, in their desire to excel and their creative spirit.
Those of you we are honouring today are further proof of that.
I have the privilege of travelling across this great country of ours and meeting people who are deeply committed to their communities; I have seen them in action, and I believe that they, like you, are the greatest hope for the future.
You might be surprised by how similar our concerns are across our vast country, in the North as in the South. Our social fabric is dynamic and deserves to be recognized.
The five people receiving Canadian honours today for bravery, volunteerism, academic achievement, distinguished service and long service are role models in their community and an inspiration for young people who are following in their footsteps.
You are our shining stars of the North, and it gives me great pleasure to honour you here, in your community.