Rideau Hall, Monday, September 9, 2013
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Welcome, everybody, to Rideau Hall, the home of the people of Canada.
This is the third year in a row that we have launched this important campaign here at Rideau Hall, and my wife, Sharon, and I are once again delighted to play host.
The Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign is a major contributor to well-being in the national capital region and right across Canada. I want to thank all of the public servants who dedicate a portion of their time and income to helping others.
I would also like to offer a special thanks to those of you who are leading this campaign.
Thank you for having the courage to get involved.
Because as we all know, we take a risk when we care for others.
Some of you may have seen the historical plaque dedicated to Lady Aberdeen that sits by the driveway leading up to Rideau Hall.
Lady Aberdeen, the wife of my predecessor the Earl of Aberdeen, knew a thing or two about the risks of caring.
During the 1890s, she helped to establish the Victorian Order of Nurses, or VON, as it’s commonly known.
There was strong opposition to her efforts by the medical establishment of the day. Some people even ridiculed her. But Lady Aberdeen persisted because she understood the great need that existed for health and social care throughout Canada, especially in rural communities and rapidly-growing cities.
We are so fortunate to call Canada our home, but there remains a great deal of work to be done to ensure all Canadians have the chance to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
Helping out takes time and energy, and also the courage to get involved in campaigns such as this one.
Once again this year, many people are counting on Canada’s public servants to show their generosity.
But I also want to thank you for your daring.
It is essential to the smarter, more caring Canada of which we dream.
I wish you a successful campaign.