The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Order of Canada Investiture Ceremony

Rideau Hall, Wednesday, November 18, 2105


I’m delighted to welcome all of you to Rideau Hall. Today, you are being invested into the Order of Canada, joining fellow Canadians who have made a difference, who have had an impact.

You’ve done so in Canada.

You’ve done so around the world.

You’ve even done so in outer space!

We’ve also gathered here today to honour Mr. Joe Rotman with the Meritorious Service Cross. Joe sadly passed away earlier this year, and it’s fitting we honour him here, since he had such close ties with the Order.

Joe was an Officer of the Order of Canada and a long-time member of the Advisory Council. He was a great champion of Canada and of Canadians. His passions ranged from the arts to business to health care and beyond.

Your passions are just as broad, ranging from writing to music to business to philanthropy to engineering, education and so much more.

To list all you’ve done would take more time than we have here. Let me just say that you have more than earned the right to be part of this distinguished order.

What, we might ask, can others learn from your example? How is it that you’ve come to be here at Rideau Hall today to be recognized with this prestigious honour?

We can learn a lot from you, because despite your many unique pursuits, I can think of more than a few traits that you share.

You relentlessly strive for excellence.

You work tirelessly at your chosen craft or profession.

You eagerly seize opportunities.

You know there are no shortcuts to success.

And not least, you’ve taken to heart the motto of the Order of Canada:

Desiderantes meliorem patriam—“They Desire a Better Country”

As a result, each of you has helped to create stronger communities, a better country and a better world.

This honour recognizes a lifetime of achievement, but your work is by no means over. You have many more stories to tell and new frontiers to explore.

My message to you today is threefold:

  • wear your Order of Canada pin with pride;
  • share your stories; and
  • keep doing what you do so well.

I often like to say that when I started as governor general, I knew this was a good country. But after five years, now I know it is a great country. And that is thanks to people like you.

Congratulations to all of you, and thank you for all that you’ve done for our nation.