Canada

Governor General urges Canadians to make Canada 'even better' in 2017

Canada should mark its 150th anniversary in 2017 by celebrating its diversity and working to achieve reconciliation with Aboriginal Peoples, Gov. Gen. David Johnston said in his New Year's message.

'Let's continue to celebrate diversity' and pursue 'reconciliation with Aboriginal Peoples': David Johnston

David Johnston urges Canadians to create a legacy for Canada's 150th birthday in 2017 3:00

Canada should mark its 150th anniversary in 2017 by celebrating its diversity and working to achieve reconciliation with Aboriginal Peoples, Gov. Gen. David Johnston said in his New Year's message. 

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

 "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 to do."

Johnston's term is up in September, but how his replacement will be selected has yet to be determined. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told The Canadian Press in a year-end interview that he hasn't given much thought yet on how the next governor general will be appointed.

But he said whatever the process, it will likely be in keeping with what he characterized as his government's approach to appointments in general.

"Diversity and minority representation and hearing a broad range of voices in appointment positions across this country is important to me," he said.

'We all desire a better country'

In his New Year's message, Johnston talked about the importance of diversity and equality in Canada.

"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." 

He noted that 2017 is also the 50th anniversary of the Order of Canada, a prestigious Canadian honour, which bears the motto: "They desire a better country."

"In fact, it could be the unofficial model of Canada this year. We all desire a better country," the Governor General said. "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."

With files from The Canadian Press

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