Trudeau hails Canadian values as celebrations kick off marking Canada Day

In his annual Canada Day address, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the country for what he described as its commitment to pluralism, inclusion and fairness, while noting ongoing efforts to right past injustices and pursue reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

“Those are the values that hold us together as Canadians. It’s the reason so many people around the world save up everything they have and leave behind everything they know to be part of our story. It’s a story that includes injustices, ones that we are confronting on our shared path of reconciliation,” Trudeau said in the video, recorded in British Columbia.

“It’s a story of learning. Learning that we’re stronger not in spite of our differences, but because of them. And it’s a story that’s still being written by incredible Canadians who step up for their community and country.”

Trudeau praised the ongoing efforts of health-care workers, first responders and the armed forces. He said the freedoms Canadians enjoy are “never guaranteed” but are safeguarded everyday by people in this country.

WATCH | Prime Minister’s Canada Day message:

Justin Trudeau’s 2024 Canada Day message

In his annual address marking Canada Day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised Canada for what he described as its commitment to pluralism, inclusion and fairness, thanking Canadians from a wide range of backgrounds for their work building the country and safeguarding its rights and freedoms.

In a written statement, Governor General Mary Simon reminded Canadians that the country is shaped by many different points of view.

“I encourage Canadians to embrace and celebrate all our voices and all our stories,” she wrote. “Lead with empathy, curiosity and dialogue. Advance reconciliation at every opportunity — incorporate it into your work, your school and your lives. This is a lifelong journey, and one that is a shared responsibility. Together, we can shape an inclusive Canada.”

Trudeau and Simon addressed the country as Canada marks its 157th birthday.

Celebrations are scheduled from coast to coast to coast on the national holiday. People in Newfoundland and Labrador will mark Memorial Day on Monday as well.

In Ottawa, the capital will once more hold the official Canada Day ceremonies.

Ongoing construction work on Parliament Hill will once again push this year’s main stage to LeBreton Flats Park, about 1.5 kilometres to the west. The major rehabilitation of Centre Block has reduced the amount of space available for public events on the lawn in front of the Parliament Buildings.

The main daytime ceremony will take place from noon to 1:15 p.m. ET, featuring a variety of activities for families and musical performances by artists like Bedouin Soundclash and Marie-Mai.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge will represent the government at the ceremony.

Eight Snowbird jets and a CF-18 Hornet flying in the sky, seen from the ground.
The Snowbirds and a CF-18 Hornet fly over Ottawa during a test flight for the Canada Day flypast celebrating the Royal Canadian Air Force centennial, on Wednesday, June 26, 2024. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

The Royal Canadian Air Force will perform a ceremonial flypast at about 1 p.m., featuring dozens of aircraft. The RCAF this year is celebrating 100 years since its founding.

The prime minister and Governor General are in Newfoundland and Labrador to participate in several ceremonies, including the entombment of Newfoundland’s Unknown Soldier, who died over 100 years ago in France during the First World War.

CBC is marking Canada Day with two CBC News specials, a radio special paying tribute to a Canadian musical icon and an evening show to unite music lovers across the country.

You can find out how to follow the day’s celebrations here.

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