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Mélanie Joly: ‘Sesquicentennial. Remember that word.’

For the record: The Canadian Heritage minister’s keynote speech to the 2016 Liberal Biennial Convention


 
Melanie Joly speaks at the 2016 Liberal Biennial Convention Winnipeg Friday, May 27, 2016.  (Photograph by John Woods)

Melanie Joly speaks at the 2016 Liberal Biennial Convention Winnipeg Friday, May 27, 2016. (Photograph by John Woods)

Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly spoke today at the 2016 Liberal Biennial Convention. She was introduced by John Aldag, MP Cloverdale—Langley City. Here is a transcript of their remarks:

John Aldag:   It is my great pleasure to bring our next keynote speaker to the stage. Your Liberal caucus, which I am very proud to be part of, works tirelessly to bring big projects to life for the benefit of all Canadians, bringing the real change that you asked of us.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, the Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic—Cartierville and Minister of Canadian Heritage, is a woman with a vision. She’s taken on a massive project, preparing the celebrations surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Confederation in 2017. Canada 150 will be a time to connect, to celebrate and appreciate the road travelled thus far and look forward to the future with pride.

It will be our chance to share what makes our communities from coast to coast to coast unique, diverse and vibrant. 2017 will be the year to create lasting connections that will live on long after the celebrations have ended. This will be no small feat, but I can’t think of anyone more fit for the job. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the Honourable Melanie Joly. (applause)

Hon. Mélanie Joly:   Bonjour tout le monde.

Hello everybody. Great to see all of you.

Plaisir de vous voir. Alors, vous savez, en tant que ministre des Langues officielles, j’ai l’occasion de travailler dans les deux langues souvent, et d’apprendre des nouveaux termes. Donc, savez-vous comment on dit 150e anniversaire en anglais? Sesquicentennial.

So let me try this again: sesquicentennial. So now all together, sesquicentennial. So please remember that word. The word is a bit long to use on Twitter, but of course, you’ll hear it often as we prepare Canada 150. So 2017 will be a big year. How big, you ask? Big enough for us to still be talking about it in 2067. (laughter)

Certains d’entre vous étaient là lors du 100e anniversaire de la Confédération. En 1967, Montréal était l’hôte de l’Expo universelle et des célébrations qui ont vraiment marqué l’imaginaire collectif des Canadiens. Pour les nostalgiques et les curieux, je vous invite à aller consulter le site web de l’ONF qui comprend plusieurs vidéos qui rappellent les moments de l’Expo 67.

Le thème de l’Expo était alors Terre des hommes.

Man and his world was the theme of Expo 67. Man and his World. So how things have changed. (laughter)

In 1967, Canada had to build a village to show Canadians the world. People wanted to discover their planet, they were eager to connect to foreign cultures, ideas and ways of living. Since then, the world has come to Canada. Canadians are more than ever connected, knowledgeable and aware, 24/7, all continents, thousands of cultures and languages.

Fifty years later, we want to offer a different type of experience. We want to offer a humour-, human connection. With a bit of humour. (laughter) One based on knowledge and acceptance of others here at home to show the world the best of Canada.

Dans un monde si interconnecté, nous voulons raconteur nos histoires, partager nos moments petits écrans et permettre une connexion humaine entre voisins, citoyens partout au pays. Cette vision du Canada 150 s’inscrit dans une réaffirmation de notre citoyenneté, de ce qui nous unit, des valeurs que nous partageons. Ces célébrations, ce seront nos célébrations et c’est à nous ensemble de saisir cette occasion.

Related reading: Katie Telford on what the Liberal campaign was really all about

Four themes will be weaved into these year-long celebrations.

Commençons par le commencement. Nous voulons mobiliser nos jeunes. Il y a eu la génération 67, il y aura la génération 2017. Nous voulons puiser dans le potentiel des jeunes pour qu’ils prennent conscience de leurs talents, de leur esprits innovateurs, et qu’ils découvrent l’impact qu’ils ont et auront sur leurs communautés. Nous voulons leur donner confiance parce que l’avenir se construit dès aujourd’hui.

We want to engage young people. Our government believes in the next generation, in their way of thinking, they way of doing things. They inspire us. We want to give them the tools to fully invest in themselves so they can reach their full potential and give back to their communities.

Nous voulons aussi célébrer notre diversité.

We want to celebrate our diversity. As Lynn (ph) has just said, and as our Prime Minister has said time and again, Canadians understand that diversity is our strength. We know that Canada has succeeded economically, politically, culturally because of diversy-, diversity and not in spite of it. In 2017, we want to celebrate and continue to build a welcoming country where everyone can reach their full potential.

Nous savons qu’un contrat social nous unit, qu’il est basé sur le respect des libertés individuelles, des identités multiples, des langues officielles, le français et l’anglais, et ce, partout au pays. Ce contrat est avant tout basé sur des valeurs de respect, d’inclusion, de compassion, d’égalité et de justice.

From Cape Breton to Victoria, passing through Markham and Montreal, we invite all communities to celebrate the multiple facets of Canadian diversity.

Nous voulons aussi soutenir la réconciliation avec les peoples autochtones.

No relationship is more important to our government right now than our relationship when, with the indigenous peoples of Canada. (applause) Our government is committed to a renewed partnership, one based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

Nous savons que nous devons avoir un regard, un regard lucide quand vient le temps de, de raconter notre passé commun avec les peuples autochtones, Métis et Inuit. Nous voulons saisir l’occasion qui nous est donnée par le 150e anniversaire de la Confédération, de changer le cours de l’histoire.

It is vital for all of Canada that we move forward together in the spirit of reconciliation so that Canada’s next 150 years leaves a better legacy than the past.

Enfin, nous voulons reconnaître l’importance de l’environnement. Notre pays est magnifique entre océans, forêts, lacs, plaine, des montagnes. Nous avons un devoir, prendre soin de ce précieux patrimoine. En 2017, nous voulons réaffirmer notre volonté de préserver nos milieux naturels et renforcer notre conscience environnementale.

We understand that our environment is facing important challenges. We want to encourage Canadians to develop a sense of pride and a closer connection to nature. In 2017, more than ever, we want to be the stewards of our environment.

So you’ve heard the four pillars of the 2017 celebrations. You know that our vision is one of empowering communities throughout the country. We will make sure that all the government, all the parts of government will bring important Canadian symbols to the forefront of these celebrations.

Now, I’d like everyone in the crowd to take out their cellphones and mark August 4th as an important date.

Alors, tout le monde dans la salle, prenez vos téléphones intelligents et réservez la date du 4 août comme une date importante.

Why? Because it will be 150 days before the 150th anniversary. (laughter) And that will be the start of our countdown. (applause)

Au-delà de 2017, nous voulons laisser un legs important. Ce legs ultime sera de créer des ponts entre voisins, entre citoyens, entre générations. Créer ces intersections où l’on rencontre son prochain, au-delà des différences en toute ouverture et en toute confiance.

Remember that it’s up to all of us to leave a lasting legacy beyond 2017. The vision for this once in a generation initiative will only be achieved through direct engagement and participation of Canadians. And we count on you. Be it park cleanups, block parties, youth forums, hikes on the TransCanada trail, you can bring your community together by inviting your neighbour to get engaged.

The legacy of Canada 150 will be an emotion-, an emotional one, a symbolic one, a human one. Never before have we been so connected to one another. Let’s make that connection meaningful. Let’s work together.

Travaillons ensemble pour que 2017 soit une année historique, une année marquante empreinte de fierté, que la génération 2017 se souvienne avec émotion de son 150e.

Thank you so much everybody. (Applause)


 

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