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Gov. Gen. Mary Simon asks Canadians to commit to kindness in year-end message

OTTAWA — Gov. Gen. Mary Simon is calling on Canadians to commit themselves to kindness in her annual year-end message. 

The Governor General says the year 2023 presented challenges brought on by climate change and global conflict. 

But she says Canada also took “important strides in reconciliation” and marked new chapters in history. 

Simon alternates between speaking English, her native Inuktitut and French — which she is still learning — in her address.

She says people are adapting to change in different ways, including with kindness. 

And she says that over the past year, she honoured people who turned challenges into opportunities.

Their stories should serve as an example of the “Inuktitut word ajuinnata,” she says, which means “never giving up.” 

It’s the same word Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ended his address to Parliament with back in September, saying Simon shared it with him when they met. 

Simon ends her new year’s address by calling on Canadians to commit “to action, and to kindness, no matter how daunting the situation may be,” and to face the challenges over the year ahead “with a renewed sense of unity.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2023. 

The Canadian Press


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