Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, on skates, encourages Canadians to 'get active' in New Year's message
'This is the True North, strong and free, and there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the Canadian winter'
Julie Payette has issued a decidedly informal request to Canadians in her first New Year's message as governor general — "stay active."
Gone are the regal trappings that served as a backdrop to end-of-year messages delivered by previous governors general.
Instead, Payette chose to deliver a statement while skating on the ice rink erected beside her official residence, Rideau Hall.
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In her address, the governor general speaks of the pleasure she experiences with her son, Laurier, by getting outdoors and enjoying the Canadian winter by skiing, skating or simply walking.
And she encourages Canadians to work in 2018 to make their country more open, tolerant, respectful and progressive.
Payette also offers best wishes to Canada's athletes who will be competing at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Julie Payette's New Year's message:
My favourite thing about the holiday season is to spend time with family and friends and to take time off to celebrate.
My son, Laurier, and I love being outdoors. We like to ski and to skate, to play in the snow and simply to walk and enjoy the winter scenery. This is the True North, strong and free, and there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the Canadian winter.
Whatever your interests or abilities, I encourage you stay active during the holiday season. If you are in the Ottawa region, I invite you to visit and experience the skating rink at Rideau Hall, part of our Canadian heritage for 150 years.
The arrival of a new year is also a good time to think about the people we love, to offer best wishes and to lend a hand to those in need, whether in our families or in our communities.
At this very special time let us not forget the members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families. They serve our country, defend our values and do such a remarkable job, here and abroad.
Let's work together to keep our country open, tolerant, respectful and progressive. Imagine the future we want as Canadians. Be curious, ask questions, explore and dare to DREAM.
May 2018 be a year of prosperity for all. We wish you Happy New Year, Canada, from coast to coast to coast!
And to those who will be competing in the Olympic Games in PyeongChang: best of success and best of luck! Go Canada!