Full texts: 2017 New Year’s messages from the Queen, governor general and prime minister

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(Below are full texts of 2017 New Year’s messages from the Queen, the governor general and the prime minister)

Queen Elizabeth II

“I am delighted to offer all Canadians my best wishes and congratulations on the  150th anniversary of Confederation. Countries throughout the Commonwealth and, indeed, around the world, rejoice with you as you embark on this special year.

Throughout the years, particularly since your Centennial year, I have watched Canada develop into a remarkable nation. You have earned a reputation as a welcoming, respectful and compassionate country.

Fifty years ago, on the eve of the Centennial, I encouraged Canadians to continue to embody the values of equality, freedom and inclusion.

Today, these values remain deeply rooted in the Canadian experience. Your country, while still young, has the maturity needed to follow its passions.

Throughout the coming year, you will have the opportunity to remind the world of the importance of protecting those values and of passing them on to future generations.

On this eve of national celebrations, my family and I are with you in spirit. We pray that God will bless Canada and that, over the next 150 years, Canadians will continue to build a better country and a better world.

As you prepare to mark this important milestone in your country’s history, I send my warmest good wishes to you all.” – Elizabeth R.


Governor General David Johnston

OTTAWA—Happy New Year, Canada, and happy sesquicentennial! What an occasion: the 150thanniversary of our Canadian family!

This year we celebrate, and we stand at a threshold. We have a rare, once-in-a-generation opportunity to think about Canada, and to look to the future.

We have a chance to reflect, to reaffirm, to look ahead and say: We love this country. We’ve come so far. Let’s make it even better. And that’s just what we’ll do.

Canadians see this year as a chance to make a difference—to continue to build this country.

To all of you: Thank you for answering the call. Thank you for helping us seize this moment. Thank you for continuing the work of building Canada!

One hundred and fifty years ago, we began a great experiment. We called it Canada.

The premise was that diverse peoples can live and work together in a spirit of respect, compromise and common cause.

One hundred years later, in 1967, Canadians celebrated with a renewed outpouring of enthusiasm and nation-building.

Today, we continue to benefit from the legacies of Confederation and of our centennial.

And while not perfect, our Canadian experiment continues.

This year, I believe our legacy will be to innovate, to improve upon our inheritance, to make this country even better.

We’re so fortunate to live in Canada, but there’s so much more work to do.

Let’s ensure this is a country of both excellence and equality of opportunity for all.

Let’s work towards achieving reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples.

Let’s continue to celebrate diversity. It’s a strength, one that has allowed us to build a society that is the envy of the world.

Besides our 150th, we’re marking many milestones this year:

The 375th anniversary of Montréal;

The 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup;

And the 50th anniversary of the Order of Canada!

“They desire a better country”—that’s the motto of the Order of Canada. In fact, it could be the unofficial motto of Canada this year! We all desire a better country. This year, we have a rare chance to shape it. A historic chance.

So let’s work together. Let’s celebrate, and let’s keep building Canada.

Sharon and I wish you and your loved ones a very happy new year.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“Happy New Year, everyone.

“Tonight is 150 years in the making, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ring in the New Year together. From coast to coast to coast, spectacular events are planned to usher in Canada’s 150th birthday.

“Before we leave 2016 behind, I want to thank you. Over the last year, we have accomplished a great deal together to strengthen the middle class and those working hard to join it.

“We cut taxes on middle-class Canadians, and put more money in the pockets of nine out of ten families through a new, more generous Canada Child Benefit; we also signed one of the most progressive free trade deals in history that will benefit Canadians across the country.

“As we mark Canada 150 over the next year, we will honour the generations of Canadians who have come together to create opportunities for one another. We will celebrate the courage and vision of those who came before us, and the hard work and ambition of Canadians – like you – who have made Canada the success story that it is today.

“For my part as Prime Minister, I will always stand against the politics of fear and division, and focus on what brings us together – that is my New Year’s resolution to you.

“In 2017, and beyond, our government will take further steps to help the middle class and those working hard to join it. And, together, I know we will continue to build the diverse and prosperous country that we are all so proud to call home.

“Canada, let’s make this year our year.

“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish you a wonderful night and all the best in 2017.”


OttawaStart Staff

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