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Canada Day 2023 Message From Ambassador Kirsten Hillman

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July 26, 2023

Hello, hello, hello! Happy Canada Day! Bonne fête du Canada tout le monde! Ç’est un grand plaisir de vous avoir ici avec nous, ici fait beau, on est ensemble, c’est un samedi, on mange bien. Thank you, everyone, for coming to join us today on this beautiful Saturday with your friends and your family. We’re going to have some good food, we’re going to have some fun activities and just spend some time together. So thank you so much for coming. It’s always a huge privilege to be able to host this event here in our beautiful Embassy with our dear American friends and our wonderful Canadian family here in the region. So thank you all for coming. I often think of this day and I think about what people across our country are doing on a day like today. So on Canada Day, generally, what Canadians like to do are block parties, backyard barbecues, picnics, maybe a trip to the cottage, a swim in a lake. We have no lake for you, I’m afraid, but we have tried to create the sort of backyard barbecue street party vibe. So please embrace it and and enjoy yourselves very much.

I think I’d like to just maybe remark on a few things that are particularly special this year, starting with the fact that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, our RCMP, who are looking so good today, so good. They are celebrating their 150th anniversary. So the RCMP, for those of you who don’t know, in addition to looking fantastic and being an iconic symbol of our country, of our nature, frankly, as peaceful and respectful Canadians, are also our national police service, so they’re equivalent to the U.S. FBI. But they also play a very important role as provincial law enforcement in a number of provinces, including the provinces where I grew up. And in that role, they are integral members of communities across the country, small and large, and they’re really leaders in their communities. So we thank them for the work that they do at the federal level as a police service, and we thank them for all of the work that they do at the community level across our country for making it a better, safer and more cohesive society. So thank you very much to our dear friends. I would welcome you to come and see them, talk to them, go inside. There’s some interesting activities inside that are related to the anniversary of the RCMP. I think it’s really special to have them here today and to be honoring them.

So maybe just the other thing I’d just like to mention is I was reflecting this morning on since we were here last time on Canada Day and some of the things that have happened and some of the ways in which our governments and our peoples have been interacting, which are literally millions and millions every day all the time. Our Prime Minister and the President and their teams have gotten together all over the world during the course of this year, at the G7 and the G20 and NATO and the Summit of the Americas. But among all those trips, I think the one that is most special for me and for my team and for us was President Biden came with a large group of his senior advisers from the White House and his cabinet members to Ottawa, and we had two days of remarkable time with them talking about, yes, important international things that we are doing together, but I think also most importantly, at least from my perspective, the way in which as neighbors, as friends, as partners, as collaborators, we work together to make each other’s countries stronger. And it was a wonderful and enriching experience that we are still, you know, working on as we work together through all the sort of challenges and opportunities that face us in this fairly complicated time in history, including our fight against climate change, which we share very much as a common objective.

And with that, I would like to say thank you and express a lot of gratitude to our American friends for sending firefighters to Canada to help us fight these unprecedented fires. So from working together to fight fires, working together to keep our communities safe, from working together in our businesses, our armed services, our communities, our families, it is just one big integrated partnership and friendship that we are so privileged to have. So we thank you very much for joining us. We hope that you have a wonderful day here with us today. We hope that you partake in all of these delights. And for our American friends and for our Canadian friends, this is the first day in what I think is going to be basically a week of celebration. So happy 4th of July to our American friends and enjoy the weekend into next week. Bienvenue tout le monte, on est vraiment content de vous avoir avec nous, merci d’etre venu.