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Prime Minister & Gov.-Gen. Look Back On 2006

Harper said his trip to visit the troops and diplomats working in the troubled nation was the highlight of his year.

“We should be very proud of them,” he said. “Of their courage and commitment. And their skill and professionalism.

“Through their selfless acts, these brave men and women are protecting our security interests, and making a real difference in the lives of the long-suffering Afghan people.”

Harper said Canadians have many things to be both proud and thankful for starting 2007, including a strong economy, a unified nation, and Canada’s place as a leader in the world.

He also paid tribute to Canadian athletes who brought home medals from the Winter Olympics in Torino.

“As Canadians, we are very fortunate. Ours isn’t just a great country. It’s the greatest in the world,” Harper said.

“But make no mistake, Canada’s best days are still ahead.

“Happy New Year Canada and may God keep our Land glorious and free.”

To see unedited video of Harper’s address, click here.

While the Prime Minister felt his trip to Afghanistan was the high point of 2006, the Governor-General’s trip to Africa had a huge impact on her as reflected in her end-of-year address.

In her message to Canadians, Michaelle Jean paid tribute to the people Africa. She visited the continent from mid-November to early December and said she wants Canadians to understand that Africa is full of promise.

“Each and every moment of the trip was unique and reinforced my belief that we have far too few opportunities to witness Africa’s bright, hopeful side,” she said.

“I feel it is important to share with my fellow Canadians the vision of an Africa that is full of promise-a continent that is committed to finding its own solutions to the enormous challenges of the day-an Africa that is working towards stability, security, prosperity and freedom. It is this image of Africa that struck me so deeply.  And it is this new Africa that Canada has long supported.”

Jean also said her thoughts are with Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan and their families back home.

“Indeed, they are making great sacrifices.  Let me share with you that everywhere I have been-everywhere-I have been moved by the courage, energy, generosity and openness of the Canadian people,” she said.

“For me, that openness is living proof of our success as a country. That openness is also our greatest message of hope for humanity.  As we embark on a new year, dear friends, let us not forget this important message that we, as Canadians, can bring to the world. And let us strengthen our resolve to spread this message far and wide.”

To see unedited video of Jean’s message, click here.


Full text of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s address:

“The arrival of the New Year is a time to reflect on the year that was and chart a course for the one to come.

Without a doubt, 2006 was a great year for Canada.

Our economy has been strong.

Our country united.

And Canada took a lead role on the world stage.

As Canadians, we were drawn together…

By the Winter Olympics, when our athletes made us all so proud .

By Canada Day, when we celebrated all that we’ve achieved in this great country .

And by Remembrance Day, when we honoured our veterans and remembered their sacrifices.

For me, the highlight of 2006 was visiting our troops, diplomats and aid workers in Afghanistan.

We should be very proud of them.

Of their courage and commitment.

And their skill and professionalism.

Through their selfless acts, these brave men and women are protecting our security interests, and making a real difference in the lives of the long-suffering Afghan people.

As Canadians, we are very fortunate.

Ours isn’t just a great country.

It’s the greatest in the world. 

But make no mistake .

Canada’s best days are still ahead .

Happy New Year Canada…

And may God keep our Land glorious and free.”


Full text of Governor-General Michaelle Jean’s address:

“Let me start by looking back at 2006, beginning with the year’s most recent events. I have just returned from my first State visit as governor general of Canada. I crossed the African continent from Algeria, Mali and Ghana to South Africa and back north to Morocco.  Each and every moment of the trip was unique and reinforced my belief that we have far too few opportunities to witness Africa’s bright, hopeful side. Throughout the trip, I set out to shed new light on the continent- showcasing untold perspectives and time-honoured traditions and cultures. I feel it is important to share with my fellow Canadians the vision of an Africa that is full of promise-a continent that is  committed to finding its own solutions to the enormous challenges of the day-an Africa that is working towards stability, security, prosperity and freedom. It is this image of Africa that struck me so deeply.  And it is this new Africa that Canada has long supported. An Africa whose remarkable, often unseen, efforts we now celebrate together so that it may take its rightful place in the world community.  I will never forget the faces of women, men and children who have chosen hope over pessimism, action over a sense of hopelessness. They are people who are changing an entire continent, one step at a time. I paid tribute to them, on behalf of all Canadians, sharing our admiration and friendship. It is this same spirit of togetherness that, in many ways, has been the hallmark of the past year.

I was deeply touched by the kind words and trust that I shared with so many Canadians. Your stories and experiences for bettering the lives of your fellow citizens are truly remarkable.  This important work, often done out of the spotlight, makes all the difference. I look forward to pursuing my discussions with Canadians who bring hope to their communities in each province and territory, every city and town.

Certainly, we must all celebrate and salute the community spirit and actions of our fellow citizens. I also know that this has been a difficult year for many families. My thoughts are especially with our soldiers in Afghanistan and their loved ones-who have endured great hardship. Indeed, they are making great sacrifices.  Let me share with you that everywhere I have been-everywhere-I have been moved by the courage, energy, generosity and openness of the Canadian people.

For me, that openness is living proof of our success as a country. That openness is also our greatest message of hope for humanity.  As we embark on a new year, dear friends, let us not forget this important message that we, as Canadians, can bring to the world. And let us strengthen our resolve to spread this message far and wide.  My husband Jean-Daniel Lafond, my daughter Marie-Éden and the Rideau Hall team join me in wishing you all peace, health, happiness and serenity.”