Justin Trudeau Celebrates His First Canada Day

Happy Canada Day! That's right, Friday, July 1, marks the annual, national day celebration for America's neighbors to the north, and there are plenty of festivities planned ― make sure to keep your eyes on the skies if you're a fan of fireworks! Canada Day celebrates the Constitution Act of 1871, which unified New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Canadian provinces. And thoughts of national unity and mutual respect were clearly on the mind of the country's prime minister Friday ― why not watch Justin Trudeau's Canada Day statement on diversity if you've got the time?

Trudeau, the 44-year-old fresh-faced Canadian leader, is celebrating his first Canada Day as prime minister, and that's got to be a fun feeling. But he did take some time to deliver a statement to the Canadian people about the unifying of the country, and how it relates to the country's present-day embrace of cultural and ethnic diversity. It's this kind of impassioned, eloquent rhetoric on core liberal principles of respect, tolerance, and anti-bigotry that helped Trudeau rise to prominence, and as such it's no surprise he'd take up the cause on Canada's big day.

Happy birthday, Canada. On this day 149 years ago, the people of this great land came together. There would no longer be an upper Canada or a lower Canada, a Canada west or a Canada east. Instead, there would be one nation, one country, one Canada. From the outset, Canada was formed not in spite of differences, but because of them. Today, as we celebrate our nation's birthday, let us also celebrate our diversity.
It united us in the past, it binds us together today, and it is at the very heart of our future success. No matter our faith, where we were born, what color our skin, what language we speak, or whom we love, we are all equal members of this great country. We have all worked very hard to build the diverse, inclusive and prosperous nation we all love so much, and I believe Canada, and Canadians like you, represent the very best vision of the future for our world. On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish you a very happy Canada Day.

While not surprising, it's nonetheless nice to Trudeau give this kind of pro-diversity plea. Trudeau ran and was elected as a strong progressive candidate, and he's been very forthright about the need for diversity and inclusion before, being a vocal advocate for welcoming Syrian refugees into Canada, even amid the usual political opposition. In fact, he presided over a ceremony welcoming Syrian refugees into Canada late last year, and he seemed both thrilled and moved by the experience.

In short, Trudeau's Canada Day message was about a valuable a one as you'll hear, especially given an international political climate that's been showing signs of increased xenophobia and exclusion over the last several months. Or, to put it another way: If Americans have to endure President Trump's first-ever Fourth of July message next year, it's going to sound a whole lot different.