OTTAWA—When I began my mandate as governor general, I called on all Canadians to join in building a smarter, more caring nation—a nation that learns and innovates, that gives, that cares for the well-being of all people. Countless individuals and organizations answered the call, and if my wife, Sharon, and I have achievements to speak of from our time at Rideau Hall and the Citadelle of Québec, it’s because of all those who helped along the way.
This is such a wonderful country, made great by its people, its landscapes and habitats, its towns and cities of such diversity. In communities from coast to coast to coast, we have met with so many thoughtful, talented and compassionate people. We’ve connected Canadians and our international partners at home and abroad in visits throughout the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
We’ve celebrated excellence in everything from bravery to the arts to innovation, while recognizing the exceptional generosity of volunteers and philanthropists. We’ve honoured the steadfast dedication to service, honour and duty of our Canadian Armed Forces members, present and past. We’ve joined Canadians in their communities and at Rideau Hall and the Citadelle to celebrate, to mourn, to dream and to discuss important issues of our time.
I could go on and on about the countless examples of kindness and creativity we’ve seen, and of all we have learned from Canadians during the past seven years. It has been a great honour to serve as Canada’s 28th governor general, to represent Her Majesty The Queen in this important role within our constitutional monarchy, and to give back to this country I love so much.
Canada is a constantly evolving work-in-progress, one based upon the notion that diverse people can live and work together to build an ever more inclusive, innovative, fair and just society.
It is my hope that in our efforts to connect, honour and inspire Canadians, Sharon and I have helped to build a smarter, more caring country for all—a country where all people have the opportunity to succeed and contribute, as we have been so privileged to do.
Thank you, Canada.