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Banner: First Among EqualsA. Kim Campbell banner

Notes for an address, Vancouver, B.C., July 1, 1993


This morning at 5:30 a.m. (1 a.m. Vancouver time), I watched the sun rise on Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland. A few hours later, I participated in Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and in Hull, Quebec. Now, about 19 hours and more than 7,000 kilometres later, I have come home to Vancouver to share with you the pride and enthusiasm that our national birthday inspires in all of us.

I cannot begin to tell what pride and what exhilaration I felt while I was flying across the country during most of today. From the silvery shores of the Atlantic to the familiar shimmering sheen of the Pacific, I was beneath me the country that was lovingly carved out of a forbidding but fabulous wilderness by generations and generations of Canadians using the simple but strong instruments called faith, determination and tolerance.

I felt that same sense of purpose and of faith in the future everywhere I went today. In St. John's, Ottawa, Hull, and now in Vancouver, I met Canadians of all ages, from all walks of life, who wanted to share their joy in their common citizenship. And, as Canada's first woman Prime Minister, Canada's first Prime Minister from British Columbia, I am indeed very proud, so very proud, to be in your company on this special evening in the life of our country.

The sun is about to set on our 126th anniversary year. A page has been turned. I invite you today to join with me and begin preparing another 126 years of peace and prosperity, of success through solidarity and of unity through understanding.

Let us set out together to meet the challenges of the 21st century that are just beyond the horizon. The government has already started taking the tough decisions that a difficult economic situation calls for. And I strongly believe that we are on the right course to maintain and enhance our position at the forefront of industrialized nations and as one of the best places to live in the world. But much remains to be done. We have to renew our commitment to excellence, quicken our pace on the path to prosperity and fortify our faith in social justice and equality.

Let us start building today for the next generation the same strong prosperous and united Canada that our parents worked so hard to give us. In the 126 years of our common history, anglophones and francophones, Aboriginal peoples and new Canadians have shown that our political system, founded on the profound respect of differences and the sharing of fundamental values, is our most powerful tool of development.

As we lay the groundwork for our future, I invite all my fellow Canadians, on this 126th birthday of our country, to firmly take hold of this tool and help build an even greater, even more united and even more prosperous Canada.

Today is not a day for long speeches. It is a day of celebration and solidarity, a day to express our pride in our past and our faith in our future. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your warm welcome and your kind encouragement. It feels so good to be back in Vancouver. And it feels especially good, this evening, to say, Happy birthday Canada! Bonne fête Canada!


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Source: Campbell, A. Kim. Notes for an address by the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, Vancouver, B.C. Ottawa: Office of the Prime Minister, 1993. 2 p.


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