“As Canadians, we have much to celebrate today. From the moment we first became the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867, our country has stood for something special. We were born and have grown from First Nations, French, British and immigrants from around the world. We take pride in our freedoms and rights, whether set out in the British North America Act that made our country, the Canadian Bill of Rights of 1960, which became the first act of Parliament to codify human rights, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which enshrined our rights in a new Canadian Constitution or the treaties that protect the special relationship between the First Peoples and the Canadian Crown.
“From the Indigenous Peoples to the others who came to this land, we are privileged with manifold stories that complement and balance one another. These legacies inform our future as they have enriched our past. Our country flourished and matured with the distinct values and traditions of the many people who call Canada their home.
“Canada has stood the test of time. When we faced challenges, we rose to overcome them. When we see injustice and oppression, we open our doors and our hearts to those impacted. And when we see evil, we rise to fight it. From the fields of Passchendaele, the beaches of Dieppe and Normandy, the hills of Kapyong, and the valleys and roads of Kandahar, Canadians have always fought for liberty. As a country, we have not been an aggressor, but a defender of those who could not defend themselves.
“Whether you were born here, raised here, or came to Canada later in life, let us reflect as we celebrate this national anniversary.”
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