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Canada Day Message from Ambassador Kirsten Hillman

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July 1, 2020

Bonjour à tous et joyeuse fête du Canada, de Washington.

En temps normal, je vous parlerais de notre célébration ici à l’ambassade où nous nous rejoignons avec nos amis, de la musique et des bonnes choses à manger.

I remember last year vividly. We had Cassie and Maggie visiting us from Nova Scotia, playing some vibrant Celtic music and bringing many of our guests up to dance, including a couple of very energetic toddlers.

Mais il va s’en dire que cette année est différente. Et nos vies ont été bouleversées par le COVID-19.

So first, I would like to start by expressing my deep gratitude to our first responders, our health care professionals, our consular service officers, and all of the essential workers that are keeping us safe, healthy, and fed.

I’ve seen so many examples in the last couple of months of Canadians and Americans working together in these unprecedented times.

We’ve seen large manufacturers shifting from making hockey masks to making face masks.

We’ve seen them shifting from making engines to making ventilators.

There’s a wonderful, wonderful story of some American beekeepers who worked with Canadian airlines, farmers, and agriculture experts to ensure the queen bees that were needed for the pollination of Canadian crops this season made it to Canada in time, so that they could do their very important work.

And there are hundreds and very individual and human stories, like the new doctor who started her career, a Canadian doctor, who started her career in New York City right at the time that that city was becoming the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis.

Of course there are thousands of Canadian health care workers that cross into Michigan, New York State, Washington State, every single day in order to care for American patients.

Each of these examples demonstrates the deep and enduring friendship and partnership that exists between Canada and the U.S.

And it’s always been there but now more than ever, it’s important to keep and cherish and recognize.

Et, alors, aussi aujourd’hui, nous reconnaissons l’importance de notre partenariat avec l’entrée en vigueur de l’entente Canada-États-Unis-Mexique.

This is also a very special day because it’s the day in which the USMCA or the Canada-USA-Mexico trade agreement enters into force. As someone who was deeply involved in those negotiations from the outset, I would like to express my personal gratitude to our Mexican and our American friends for their devotion, hard work, and professionalism. We have now found ourselves with an agreement that is updated for the 21st century and that will provide vital stability and economic prosperity to Canadian workers, families, and communities, and those that are also in the United States and Mexico.

This new agreement will also play a very important role in helping us recover from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

And we also can’t forget another very important date coming up: July 4th. To our American friends, and neighbours and family, I wish you a very, very joyful Independence Day, wherever you are and however you’re celebrating. Bonne fête du Canada tout le monde. Happy Canada Day, everyone.

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