The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Working Luncheon with Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and The Crown Princess of Norway

Rideau Hall, Monday, November 7, 2016


Sharon and I are so pleased to welcome Your Royal Highnesses to Rideau Hall and to Canada.

We’re delighted to see you and the entire Norwegian delegation visiting our country.

I’m also pleased we took a moment to visit the red oak tree planted on the Rideau Hall grounds by Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja during their State visit to Canada in 2002.

This is very apt, given the wonderful tradition of collaboration around gardening that is developing between our two countries!

We’re very proud of our ceremonial trees here at Rideau Hall. Mark Burleton, who manages the grounds here, had an enlightening experience in Norway learning about landscaping practices at your official residences.

Similarly, we enjoyed meeting with Mr. Tor Smaaland, the Norwegian Palace’s head gardener, during his visit to Ottawa.

To paraphrase the old proverb: Blessed is the man who plants a tree, knowing he will not be there to enjoy its shade.

This is a great example of collaboration and a symbol of the friendship and the unique possibilities that exist between Canada and Norway.

Your visit seeks to further those possibilities with stops in Ottawa, Toronto and St. John’s.

These are some of Canada’s most historic and creative cities, and I’m certain you’re in for a warm welcome in each.

You will also be taking part in meetings and events related to Arctic co-operation, innovation and trade, education, the arts and youth.

These are the themes of this luncheon discussion today, and I thank you all for being here and taking part.

Canada and Norway have a wonderful history of friendship and co-operation. We share values and aspirations of building smart, caring societies that look out to the world with confidence and openness. We believe in learning, excellence and equality of opportunity, and we have so much to learn from each other.

Being northern countries, we also embrace winter in unique ways—including by racing on giant skis at our annual Winter Celebration here at Rideau Hall!

I think “Jackrabbit” Johannsen would be very proud, though who would he root for, Canada or Norway?!

And let me add what a great partner the Norwegian embassy has been for us here on this event for many years.

Canada values its relationship with Norway, and we look forward to enhanced partnership in many spheres of activity.

Thank you for coming all this way to visit us. I wish you a wonderful stay.

To Canada and Norway!