Happy Canada Day, Ontario!
Today is a day worthy of celebration, even as, in common with citizens around the globe, we continue to face a crisis virtually unknown to living generations. The world has been turned on its head. My first thoughts are with those who have succumbed to COVID-19, and their families.
The stories of the last few months tell of hardship and inequality. They have exposed weaknesses in the economic and social systems upon which we rely, and have confirmed our interdependence with those beyond our neighbourhoods and our country. We grieve collectively.
But in equal measure, we are witnessing empathy, collaboration, creativity, and courage. Deserving of special gratitude are the many frontline workers who are bravely leading us through this crisis, and also the millions of people across Ontario, especially seniors, who are, at great personal cost, doing the right thing and staying home to prevent the spread of the virus.
We see all orders of government working in common cause, making evidence-based decisions; businesses and industries demonstrating ingenuity as they retool; civil society empowered by digital tools to nurture cohesive communities; scientists and researchers racing with single focus to develop a vaccine; and arts and cultural organizations, in solidarity and kindness, bringing moments of awe and wonder into our homes.
There is an unmistakable hunger for normalcy. As we all do our part in the coming months to envision what a “better normal” could be, let us dare to dream of a world that works for everyone. Perhaps the first step is to listen to those who are hurting and to engage in thoughtful and respectful conversations about what we have learned and what needs to change.
As Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in Ontario, I pay tribute to Indigenous people who have stewarded these lands for thousands of years and countless generations. There is inspiration in the special relationship between First Peoples and the Crown. May we also pay attention to people from all walks of life, including those marginalized and impoverished, who continue to raise their voices in support of social and economic justice. We all deserve to live with dignity.
Throughout this journey, I have been reassured and inspired by you, the people of Ontario. Together you have demonstrated uncommon generosity of spirit and an exceptional drive for resilience.
Ours is a caring nation. It is together that we will save lives and livelihoods. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. And that is why, in the midst of adversity, we celebrate the promise of Canada.