Happy Canada Day!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered the following remarks on Canada Day:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper “Thank you Shelly, Governor General Johnston and Sharon Johnston, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Happy Canada Day! One hundred and fifty years ago, the Fathers of Confederation, our ancestors, met in Charlottetown, and Quebec. In 1864, our Fathers of Confederation dreamed a magnificent dream, a dream of a united Canada that would take its place among the countries of the world; prosperous, strong and free. 147 years later, this is their dream, Canada, a confident partner, a courageous warrior, a compassionate neighbour. Canada, the best country in the world!

Now, Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that greatness springs up from the hearts of a people. In Canada’s heart, our national desire, is to do what is right and good. It is the true character of the Canadian people, and the expectation they place on their government. We act, based on those principles, to lead instead of follow. To be good friends; and to honour our commitments. So ladies and gentlemen, let us celebrate those Canadians who make our Canada great, our men and women in uniform, who keep our streets and loved ones safe, and, as we have tragically seen in Moncton recently, sometimes tragically make the ultimate sacrifice; The members of the Canadian Armed Forces, who stand on guard, and who have given their lives time after time, so that people around the world might also know freedom, democracy and justice.

The values that Canada stands for, the values under which all Canadians thrive. As we approach the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of our Confederation, let us never forget the sacrifices made by the member’s of our military across our history. During the First World War, the Second World War, in Korea and, even more recently, in Afghanistan. This year, the Canadian military marks many significant milestones: the 200th anniversary of the end of the Canadian campaign of the War of 1812; the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War; The 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War, the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the end of Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan.

We will always call these men and women who have served in these actions over the years, over the decades over the centuries, what they are Canada’s finest heroes! Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic Athletes also make our country great, and in the winter Olympics of 2014 our Canadian athletes once again made us proud! In fact friends, a little later we’re going to be joined by six-time Olympic medalist, – that’s winter and summer Olympics – the unbeatable Clara Hughes!

For the last 110 days, Clara has been on an epic journey all around Canada. Friends, Ottawa is her finish line, and so, let’s be sure to give Clara Hughes the hero’s welcome that she deserves here in Ottawa!

Dear friends, the greatness of Canada comes from all of this and more, all of this make us, a role model for the rest of the world. Friends, if we remember all the things and all the people, from the Fathers of Confederation, to the men and women in military, civil and athletic uniform. To the mothers and fathers who work hard to teach our values to the next generation, if we remember all these people who have made and are making Canada great, if we continue to let their examples guide our actions, then Canada’s future will be very bright indeed.

God bless all of on this 147th and God keep our true north, strong and free! Happy Canada Day, everyone!”
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