Here is the full text of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Christmas message:
Christmas is always a special time, a time when Canadians celebrate the bonds of family, faith and friendship.
This year, we have even more reasons to give thanks – a challenging year ended well and a new year brings hope and promise.
We shall be the site of the next G-8 and G-20 summits, where the world’s most powerful leaders will set a new course toward sustainable growth and prosperity.
And Canada will welcome the world at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler. Young Canadians, already winners of the contests to represent our country, will face off against the best athletes in the world. Their eyes are on gold and our hearts are with them.
Their courage makes us proud. Their determination inspires us and when they take the podium, they will tell us something of our country: in a tough, competitive world Canada can lead. Every great thing to which our nation should aspire is within our reach if we have the spirit of an Olympian.
Laureen, Ben, Rachel and I join in wishing you a very Merry Christmas.
And we ask that you remember in your thoughts and prayers our men and women in uniform who risk their lives in the service of our country and their loved ones here at home who anxiously await their return.
And to them, and all of you, we wish a happy and prosperous New Year.
Click here to see video of this address.