As we begin this Platinum Jubilee visit, which will take us from the newest member of Confederation to among the oldest communities in the North – and to a much-storied capital at the heart of a great nation – my wife and I look forward to listening to you and learning about the future you are working to build. 

Governor-General, Prime Minister, honoured guests and friends.

It is with the greatest respect that both my wife and I begin our visit to these homelands that have been lived in and cared for by indigenous peoples – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – for thousands of years.  We cannot thank you enough for your warm reception and those most generous words of welcome.  Nor can I emphasize just how touched and delighted we were to be invited by the Government of Canada to join you as you celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and her seventy years of service as Sovereign. 

La Reine m’a demandé de vous transmettre ses meilleurs vœux en cette année spéciale et d’exprimer la profonde affection qu’elle éprouve pour le Canada et ses habitants. Tout au long de sa vie, et depuis sa toute première visite ici en dix-neuf cent cinquante et un, Sa Majesté s’est profondément attachée au Canada et elle s’estime extrêmement heureuse d’avoir rencontré tant de Canadiens et Canadiennes de tous les coins du pays. Je sais que la Reine garde un souvenir particulièrement touchant de la visite qu’elle a effectuée avec feu mon père, le duc d’Édimbourg, en dix-neuf cent cinquante neuf, au cours d’une tournée remarquable de quarante-huit jours – la plus longue jamais effectuée! – sa Majesté avait alors visité toutes les provinces et tous les territoires.  On that occasion, The Queen opened the St. Lawrence Seaway to commercial traffic in the presence of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  On a subsequent visit in 1982, she has recalled signing the proclamation of the Constitution Act alongside Prime Minister, your father, Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau.  At these defining moments, and many others like them, The Queen was with you as Canada’s history was written. 

Pour ma part, le Canada et les Canadiens occupent une place très spéciale dans ma vie depuis ma première visite ici il y a plus d’un demi-siècle. J’ai eu l’occasion de visiter toutes les provinces et tous les territoires, et je garde un souvenir impérissable des endroits remarquables que j’ai appris à connaître – des superbes forêts de la Colombie-Britannique au littoral majestueux des Maritimes en passant par la magnificence de l’Arctique.  Above all, time and again, I have seen what makes this country truly great – her people and what they stand for – outward-looking, big-hearted and embodying Canada’s inherently global values.  As I get older, it is particularly heart-warming to see my children coming to know and to love this great country – just as The Queen and my late father have, and my wife and I in turn.

As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems to me to be particularly apt that the unifying theme for the Platinum Jubilee is the celebration of people and “service” – service to family, to community and to country.  If I may say so, this goes to the heart of what makes Canada so special, and what my family and I have long admired so greatly about this country.  It is seen in  acts of kindness every day in communities, big and small – from coast to coast to coast – on the part of health care workers and first responders, teachers, community leaders, military personnel and veterans.  It is demonstrated by the many Canadians who have opened their homes to those seeking refuge from conflicts around the world.  It is made manifest by Canada’s determination to be a force for good in our world.

En célébrant le Jubilé, nous célébrons donc les Canadiens et les Canadiennes – votre diversité, votre générosité et votre apport inestimable dans le monde entier. Encore aujourd’hui, vous défendez la liberté et vous vous opposez à la tyrannie, tout comme vous l’avez fait pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale alors que le Canada a joué un rôle indispensable dans la libération de l’Europe. Vous restez à l’avant-garde de la lutte contre les plus grands problèmes de notre époque, qu’il s’agisse de l’invasion de l’Ukraine par la Russie, de la famine au Soudan du Sud ou de la destruction de la forêt amazonienne et de la crise croissante causée par les changements climatiques.  Canada has always taken its responsibilities as a global citizen to heart in the most remarkable way. Time and again you have shown your country to be:-

A safe haven to those in need;

A respected leader on the world stage;

A much-needed voice in advocating for a greener and more sustainable future;

And, in an era where the global institutions of democracy look distressingly fragile, a model of determination and humanity.

Aujourd’hui, plus que jamais, nous avons besoin de l’esprit d’initiative, de la compassion et de l’humanité des Canadiens et des Canadiennes.

However, as we look to our collective future, as one people sharing one planet, we must find new ways to come to terms with the darker and more difficult aspects of the past:  acknowledging, reconciling and striving to do better.  It is a process that starts with listening.

I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss with the Governor General the vital process of reconciliation in this country – not a one-off act, of course, but an ongoing commitment to healing, respect and understanding. I know that our visit here this week comes at an important moment – with indigenous and non-indigenous peoples across Canada committing to reflect honestly and openly on the past and to forge a new relationship for the future...

As we begin this Platinum Jubilee visit, which will take us from the newest member of Confederation to among the oldest communities in the North – and to a much-storied capital at the heart of a great nation – my wife and I look forward to listening to you and learning about the future you are working to build.  As so often in the history of this country and her people, Canadians have embarked on a journey that demands commitment and courage.  My wife and I could hardly be more privileged to travel part of this journey with you and we are deeply grateful for your warm welcome, which we will carry with us throughout this entire tour. Merci, Thank you, Welaliek.