Boring socks today, Bill. Sorry, you’re not going to like the socks. (Laughter) Mr. Secretary (Laughter) (Inaudible) (Applause and cheers) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Order. (Laughter) So… The Right Honourable the Prime Minister.
The Right Honourable Prime Minister. (Applause and cheers) THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JUSTIN TRUDEAU (Prime Minister of Canada): Thank you, Mr. President.
Thank you dear friends. It’s wonderful to see you all today.
Mr. President, it’s an honour to welcome you to Parliament on behalf of all Canadians,
welcome to our house. (Applause)
Before we begin, I would like to ask everyone here today to join in a moment of silence
in memory of those killed and injured in yesterday’s attack in Istanbul. (Moment of silence) Thank you.
Mr. President, the house we sit in today has witnessed many extraordinary moments in history.
It’s where governments made the difficult decision to send young men and women to war.
Decisions that forever changed our country and the world. It was here in 1922, that Agnes
Macphail, our first female Member of Parliament, showed generations of Canadian girls that,
yes, they could. (Cheers & applause) And now, finally, this house gets to see a “bromance” up close.
(Laughter) Thanks for making that possible.
(Laughter) Although I still think “dude-plomacy”
is more accurate, but I’ll get over it. The truth is that while Barack and I are friends,
it’s a friendship that is far from unique. Be it through family, friends, social
media, or even by the $2.4 billion in goods and services that cross our border every
day, the links between Canadians and Americans are everywhere. And it is through those relationships
that we give life to what President Kennedy stated when he addressed this house: What unites
us is far greater than what divides us. Canadians and Americans are united in their quest
for peace and prosperity. We all want real opportunities for success.
And we understand that economic growth means most when it improves the lives of the people
who work so hard to secure it, especially the middle class and those working hard to
join it. And we echo the values of President Roosevelt who said that the test of our progress
is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have so much, it is whether we
provide enough for those who have too little. Canadians and Americans are also united in
our desire to leave to our children and grandchildren a better world, a safer, cleaner world than
the one we inherited from our parents. That’s an ambitious goal but not one beyond our reach.
Today, we made an important down payment on that cleaner future with a new continental
climate change strategy. (Cheers & applause) And, finally, and at this moment, critically, Canadians and Americans are united in our
understanding that diversity is a source of strength, not weakness. Generation after generation,
our countries have welcomed newcomers seeking liberty and the promise of a better life.
And generation after generation, our identities and our economies have been enriched by these
new perspectives, not threatened by them. The North American idea that diversity is
strength is our great gift to the world. No matter where you’re from or the faith you
profess, or the colour of your skin, nor whom you love, you belong here. This is home. (Applause) So, let us reaffirm today with our American
cousins the spirit that 153 years ago, Abraham Lincoln called “the last best hope on earth.”
Openness, diversity, inclusion, responsible self-government, freedom for all people…
these ideas are as important today as they have ever been, and we will promote them together.
On all these things, on economic opportunity, on the environment, on building a more inclusive
and diverse society, Canadians and Americans agree.
When people say that the President and I have a special relationship, there is something
that they often do not realize. We do not draw inspiration from each other, but rather
from the people we are privileged to serve. From the mother who works overtime to pay
her rent, buy new clothes for her daughter and save a little money to help her parents.
From the retiree who gives his time to teach children the importance of protecting the
wetlands. From communities that come together after a natural catastrophe, or even walk
side by side, hand in hand, to stand up for the right to love one another.
These are the stories I will think of when I consider President Obama’s time in office.
History books will record the signature policies, but I will remember what I hope we all will
remember are the lessons you taught us, not by executive order, but by example… that
we are accountable… (Applause) The lesson that we are accountable to each other. That we are stronger together than
we are apart. That we are more alike than we are different, and that there is a place
in this world for politics that is hopeful, hardworking, ambitious, and kind.
Mr. President, in your last State of the Union address, you said of the American people that
they are clear-eyed, big-hearted, undaunted by challenge, and optimistic. I can think
of no better way to describe their leader. Barack, welcome to Canada.
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. (Cheers & applause) BARACK OBAMA (President of the United States
of America): Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you everybody.
Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Please, please, everyone have a seat.
Thank you. Thank you so much. Good evening. Bonjour.
Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker, members of the House, the Senate, distinguished guests,
people of Canada, thank you for this extraordinary welcome, which tempts me to just shut up and
… because it can’t get any better than this. Obviously I’m, I’m grateful for the warm welcome. I am extraordinarily grateful for
the close working relationship and friendship with your outstanding Prime Minister, Justin
Trudeau and his extraordinary wife, Sophie. But I think it’s fair to say that much of
this greeting is simply a reflection of the extraordinary alliance and deep friendship
between Canadians and Americans. Justin, thank you for your very kind words
and for the new energy and hope that your leadership has brought to your nation as well
as to the alliance. My time in office may be nearing an end, but I know that Canada
and the world will benefit from your leadership for years to come.
(Applause) So, Canada was the very first country that
I visited as president. It was in February. (Laughter) It was colder. I was younger. Michelle now refers to my hair as the great white north.
(Laughter) And on that visit I strolled around the ByWard
market and tried a beaver tail, which is better than it sounds.
(Laughter) And I was struck then, as I am again today,
by the warmth of Canadians. I could not be more honoured to be joining you in this historic
hall, this cathedral of freedom. And we Americans can never say it enough. We could not ask
for a better friend or ally than Canada. (Applause)
We could not. It’s true. (Applause)
It is true. And we do not take it for granted. That does not mean we don’t have our differences.
As I understand it, one of the reasons the Queen chose this site for Parliament was that
it was a safe distance from America’s border. And I admit in the War of 1812, American troops
did some damage to Toronto. I suspect that there were some people up here who didn’t
mind when the British returned the favour and burned down the White House.
(Laughter) In more recent times, however, the only forces
crossing our borders are the armies of tourists and business people and families who are shopping
and doing business and visiting loved ones. Our only battles take place inside the hockey
rink. Even there, there is an uneasy peace that is maintained. As Americans, we too celebrate
the life of Mr. Hockey himself, the late, great Gordie Howe.
(Applause) Just as Canadians can salute American teams
for winning more Stanley Cups in the NHL. (Laughter & groans) I told you I should have stopped after the applause.
(Laughter) But in a world where too many borders are
a source of conflict, our two countries are joined by the longest border of peace on earth.
(Applause) And what makes our relationships so unique
is not just proximity, it’s our enduring commitment to a set of values, a spirit alluded
to by Justin that says, no matter who we are, where we come from, what our last names are,
what faith we practice, here we can make of our lives what we will.
It is the grit of pioneers and prospectors who pushed west across a forbidding frontier,
the dreams of generations, immigrants, refugees that were welcomed to these shores, the hope
of runaway slaves who went north on an underground railroad. Deep in our history of struggle,
said Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, Canada was the North Star. The freedom road brings
us together. We’re bound as well by the service of those who’ve defended us at Flanders
Fields, the beaches of Normandy, the skies of the Balkans and more recently in the mountains
of Afghanistan and training bases in Iraq. And their sacrifice is reflected in the silent
rows of Arlington, and in the Peace Tower above us. Today we honour those who gave their
lives for all of us. (Applause) We’re linked together as well by the institutions that we’ve built to keep the peace, a United
Nations to advance our collective aspirations, a NATO alliance to ensure our security, NORAD,
where Americans and Canadians stand watch side-by-side and track Santa on Christmas
Eve. We’re linked by a vast web of commerce that carries goods from one end of this continent
to another and we’re linked by the ties of friendship and family, in my case an outstanding
brother-in-law from Burlington. (Applause)
Had to give Burlington a shout out. Our relationship is so remarkable precisely because it seems
so unremarkable, which is why Americans often are surprised when our favourite American
actor or singer turns out to be Canadian! (Applause) The point is we see ourselves in each other, and our lives are richer for it. As president
I have deepened the ties between our countries. And because of the progress we’ve made in
recent years I can stand before you and say that the enduring partnership between Canada
and the United States is as strong as it has ever been and we are more closely aligned
than ever before. (Applause) And yet we meet at a pivotal moment for our nations and for the globe. From this vibrant
capital we can look upon a world that has benefited enormously from the international
order that we helped build together. We can see that same order increasingly strained
by the accelerating forces of change. The world is, by almost every measure, less violent
than ever before, but it remains riven by old divisions and fresh hatreds. The world’s
more connected than ever before. But even as it spread knowledge and the possibility
of greater understanding between peoples, it also empowers terrorists who spread hatred
and death, most recently in Orlando and Istanbul. The world is more prosperous than ever before.
But alongside globalization and technological wonders, we also see a rising inequality and
wage stagnation across the advanced economies, leaving too many workers and communities fearful
of diminishing prospects, not just for themselves, but more importantly for their children.
And in the face of such rising uncertainty, it is not enough to look at aggregate growth
rates or stock prices or the pace of digital innovation, if the benefits of globalization
accrue only to those at the very top. If our democracies seem incapable of assuring broad-based
growth and opportunity for everyone, then people will push back out of anger or out
of fear. And politicians, some sincere and some entirely cynical, will tap that anger
and fear, harkening back to bygone days of order and predictability and national glory,
arguing that we must rebuild walls and disengage from a chaotic world, or rid ourselves of
the supposed ills brought on by immigrants, all in order to regain control of our lives.
We saw some of these currents at work this past week in the United Kingdom’s referendum
to leave the European Union. Despite some of the initial reactions, I am confident that
the process can be managed in a prudent, orderly way. I expect that our friends on both sides
of the channel will develop a workable plan for how to move forward. And I’m equally
confident that the transatlantic values that we all share as liberal, market-based democracies
are deeper and stronger than any single event. But while the circumstances of Brexit may
be unique to the United Kingdom, the frustrations people felt are not. The short-term fallout
of Brexit can be sensibly managed, but the long-term trends of inequality and dislocation
and the resulting social division, those can’t be ignored. How we respond to the forces of
globalization and technological change will determine the durability of an international
order that ensures security and prosperity for future generations. And fortunately, the
partnership between the United States and Canada shows the path we need to travel, for
our history and our work together speak to a common set of values to build on, proven
values, values that your Prime Minister spoke of in his introduction, values of pluralism
and tolerance, rule of law, openness, global engagement, and commerce and cooperation,
coupled with equal opportunity and an investment in our people at home.
As Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once said, a country after all is not something you build
as the pharaohs built the pyramids and then leave standing there to defy eternity. A country
is something that is built every day out of certain basic shared values. What is true
of countries is true of the world and that’s what I want to talk about today, how to strengthen
our institutions to advance these commitments in a rapidly changing world.
Let me start with our shared economic vision. In all we do, our commitment to opportunity
for all of our people has to be at the centrepiece of our world. We are so fortunate because
both of our countries are so well-positioned to succeed in the 21st century. Our two nations
know firsthand the awesome power of free markets and innovation. Canadians help run some of
Silicon Valley’s most innovative companies. Our students study at each other’s world-class
universities. We invest in research and development and make decisions based on science and evidence,
and it works. It what’s created these extraordinary economies of ours. But if the financial crisis
and recent recession taught us anything, it’s that economies do better when everyone has
a chance to succeed. For a long time it was thought that countries
had to choose between economic growth or economic inclusion. But it turns out that’s a false
choice. If the CEO makes more in a day than a typical employee makes in a year, that kind
of inequality is not just bad for morale and the company, it turns out it’s bad for the economy. That worker is not a very good customer for business. (Applause) If a young man… if a young man in Ohio can’t
pay his student loans or a young woman in Ontario can’t pay her bills — that has
ramifications for our economy. It tamps down the possibilities of growth. So, we need growth
that is broad and that lifts everybody up, including tax policies that do right by working
families, and robust safety nets for those who fall on hard times. As John Kenneth Galbraith
once said, the common denominator of progress is our people. It’s not numbers. It’s
not abstractions. It’s how our people doing. Of course, many who share this progressive,
inclusive vision can be heard now arguing that investments in our people, protections
for our workers, fair tax policies, these things are not enough. For them globalization
is inherently rigged towards the top 1% and, therefore, what’s needed is an end to trade
agreements and various international institutions and arrangements that integrate national economies.
And I understand that vision. I know why it’s tempting. It seems as if… if we draw a line
around our borders that it’ll give us more control, particularly when the benefits of
trade and economic integration are sometimes hard to see or easy to take for granted, and
the very specific dislocations are obvious and real. There’s just one problem. Restricting
trade or giving in to protectionism in this 21st century economy will not work. It will
not work. (Applause) We, even if we wanted to, we can’t seal ourselves off from the rest of the world.
The day after Brexit, people looked around and said, oh, how’s this going to work?
The drag that economic weakness in Europe and China and other countries is having on
our own economies right now speaks to the degree to which we depend–our economies depend,
our jobs, our businesses–depend on selling goods and services around the world. Very
few of our domestic industries can sever what is now truly a global supply chain. And so,
for those of us who truly believe that our economies have to work for everybody, the
answer is not to try and pull back from our interconnected world, it is rather to engage
with the rest of the world, to shape the rules so they’re good for our workers and good
for our businesses. And the experience between our two nations
points the way. The United States and Canada have the largest bilateral trade investment
relationship in the world and we are stronger for it. (Applause) It means a company
in Quebec can create jobs in North Carolina,
and a start-up in Toronto can attract investment from Texas. Now the problem is that some economies
in many of the fastest-growing regions of the world, particularly the Asia-Pacific region,
don’t always abide by the same rules. They impose unfair tariffs, or they suppress workers’
rights, or they maintain low environmental standards that make it hard for our businesses
to compete fairly. With the Trans Pacific Partnership we have the ability to not only
open up these markets to US and Canadian products, and eliminate thousands of these unfair tariffs–which
by the way we need to do because they’re already selling here under existing rules,
but we’re not selling as much as we should over there–but it also affords us the opportunity
to increase protections for workers and the environment and promote human rights, including
strong prohibitions against human trafficking and child labour. And that way, our workers
are competing on a level playing field, and our businesses are less prone to pursue a
race to the bottom. And when combined with increased investments in our own people’s
education and skills and training and infrastructure and research and development and connectivity,
then we can spur the kind of sustained growth that makes all of us better off… (Applause) … all of us. (Applause) The point is, we need to look
forward, not look backward. And more trade and more people-to-people ties can also help
break down old divides. I thank Canada for its indispensable role
in hosting our negotiations with the Cuban government and supporting our efforts to set
aside half-a-century of failed policies… (Applause)
… to begin a new chapter with the Cuban people. (Applause) I know a lot of Canadians like going to Cuba,
maybe because they haven’t had Americans crowding the streets and the beaches, but
that’s changing. And as more Americans engage with the Cuban people, it’ll mean more economic
opportunity and more hope for ordinary Cubans. We also agree, us Americans and Canadians,
that wealthy countries like ours cannot reach our full potential while others remain mired
in poverty. That too is not going to change in this interconnected world, that if there’s
poverty and disease and conflict in other parts of the world, it spills over as much
as we’d like to pretend that we can block it out. So, with our commitment to new sustainable
goals we have the chance to end the outrage of extreme poverty. (Applause) We can bring more electricity to Africa so that
students can study at night and businesses can stay open. We can banish the scourge of
malaria and Zika. We can realize our goal of the first AIDS-free generation. (Applause) We can do that. It’s within our grasp. And
we can help those who are working to replace corruption with transparent, accountable institutions
that serve their people. As leaders in global development the United
States and Canada understands that development is not charity. It’s an investment in our
future prosperity… (Applause) … because not only do such investments and policies help poor countries, they’re going
to create billions of customers for US and Canadian products, and they’ll make less
likely the spread of deadly epidemics to our shores, and they’ll stabilize parts of the
world that threaten the security of our people. In fact, both the United States and Canada
believe our own security, and not just prosperity, is enhanced when we stand up for the rights
of all nations and peoples to live in security and peace. (Applause) And even as there are times when unilateral
action is necessary to defend our people, we believe in a world where wars between great
powers are far less likely, but transnational threats like terrorism know no boundaries.
Our security is best advanced when nations work together. We believe the disputes that
do arise between nations should be, wherever possible, resolved peacefully with diplomacy,
that international organizations should be supported, that multilateralism is not a dirty
word. And certainly… (Applause) … and certainly we’re more secure when we stand united against terrorist networks
and ideologies that reached to the very doorstep of this hall. We honour all those taken from
us by violent extremists, including Canadians John Ridsdale and Robert Hall. (Applause) And with Canada’s additional contributions,
including training Iraqi forces, our coalition is on the offensive across Iraq, across Syria,
and we will destroy the terrorist group ISIL. We will destroy them. (Applause) We’ll continue helping local forces and
sharing intelligence from Afghanistan to the Philippines so that we’re pushing back comprehensively against terrorist networks. And in contrast to the hatred and the nihilism of terrorists,
we’ll work with partners around the world, including particularly Muslim communities…
(Applause) … to offer a better vision and path of development
and opportunity and tolerance because they are and must be our partners in this effort.
(Cheers & applause) Meanwhile, when nations violate international
rules and norms, such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the United States and Canada
stand united along with our allies in defence of our collective security. (Applause) And doing so requires a range of tools, like
economic sanctions. But it also requires that we keep our forces ready for 21st century
missions and invest in new capabilities. As your ally and as your friend, let me say that
we’ll be more secure when every NATO member, including Canada, contributes its full share
to our common security… (Applause) … because the Canadian Armed Forces are really good.
UNIDENTIFIED: Hear, hear, hear! (Applause)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: And if I can borrow a phrase, the world needs more Canada. NATO needs more
Canada. We need you. (Cheers & applause)
We need you. And just as we join together in our common
defense, so must we work together diplomatically, particularly to avert war. And diplomacy results
are rarely quick, but it turns out even the most intractable conflicts can be resolved.
Here in our own hemisphere, just in the last few weeks, after half a century of war, Colombia
is poised to achieve a historic peace… (Applause)
… and the nations of North America will be an important partner to Colombia going
forward, including working to remove land mines.
Around the world, Canadian and American diplomats working together can make a difference, even
in Syria, where the agony and the suffering of the Syrian people tears at our hearts.
Our two nations continue to be leaders in humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, and
although a true resolution of this conflict so far has alluded us, we know that the only
solution to this civil war is a political solution so that the Syrian people can reclaim
their country and live in peace and Canadians and Americans are going to work as hard as
we can to make that happen. (Applause) I should add that here in the nation of Lester Pearson, we reaffirm our commitment to keep
strengthening the peacekeeping that saves lives around the world.
There is one threat, however, that we cannot solve militarily, nor can we solve alone,
and that’s the threat of climate change. Now, climate change is no longer an abstraction.
It’s not an issue we can put off for the future. It is happening now. It is happening here
in our own countries. The United States and Canada are both Arctic nations, and last year
when I became the first U.S. president to visit the Arctic, I could see the effects
myself. Glaciers like Canada’s Athabasca Glacier, are melting at alarming rates. Tundra is burning,
permafrost is thawing. This is not a conspiracy. It’s happening. Within a generation, Arctic
sea ice may all but disappear in the summer. And so skeptics and cynics can insist on denying
what’s right in front of our eyes, but the Alaska natives that I met, whose ancestral
villages are sliding into the sea, they don’t have that luxury. They know climate change
is real. They know it is not a hoax. And from Bangladesh to the Pacific islands, rising
seas are swallowing land and forcing people from their homes. Around the world, stronger
storms and more intense droughts will create humanitarian crises and risk more conflict.
This is not just a moral issue, not just an economic issue, it is also an urgent matter
of our national security. And for too long, we’ve heard that confronting climate change
means destroying our own economies. But let me just say, carbon emissions in the United
States are back to where they were two decades ago, even as we’ve grown our economy dramatically
over the same period. Alberta, the oil country of Canada, is working hard to reduce emissions
while still promoting growth, so… (Applause)
… if Canada can do it and the United States can do it, the whole world can unleash economic
growth and protect our planet. We can do this. (Applause) We can do it.
(Applause) We can do this. We can help lead the world to meet this threat. Already,
together in Paris, we achieved the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change.
Now, let’s bring it into force this year. (Applause)
With our agreement with Mexico that we announced today, let’s generate half the electricity
on this continent from clean energy sources within a decade. That’s achievable.
(Applause) Let’s partner in the Arctic to help give its
people the opportunity they deserve while conserving the only home they know. And building
on the idea that began in Montreal three decades ago, let’s finally phase down dangerous HFC
greenhouse gases. This is the only planet we’ve got, and this may be the last shot we’ve
got to save it. And America and Canada are going to need to lead the way. We’re going
to have to lead the way. (Applause) Just as we’re joined in our commitment to protecting the planet, we are also joined
in our commitment to the dignity of every human being. We believe in the right of all
people to participate in society. We believe in the right of all people to be treated equally,
to have an equal shot at success. That is in our DNA, the basic premise of our democracies.
I think we can all agree that our democracies are far from perfect. They can be messy. And
they can be slow. And they can leave all sides of a debate unsatisfied. Justin is just getting
So in case you hadn’t figured that out, that’s where this grey hair comes from.
(Laughter) But more than any other system of government,
democracy allows our most precious rights to find their fullest expression, enabling
us through the hard, painstaking work of citizenship to continually make our countries better,
to solve new challenges, to right past wrongs. And, Prime Minister, what a powerful message
of reconciliation it was here and around the world when your government pledged a new relationship with Canada’s First Nations. (Cheers & applause) Democracy is not easy. It’s hard. Living up to our ideals can be difficult even in the
best of times, and it can be harder when the future seems uncertain, or when in response
to legitimate fears and frustrations, there are those who offer a politics of us versus
them, a politics that scapegoats others – the immigrant, the refugee, someone who seems
different than us. We have to call this mentality what it is – a threat to the values that
we profess, the values we seek to defend. It’s because we respect all people that the
world looks to us as an example. The colours of the rainbow flag have flown on Parliament
Hill. They have lit up the White House. That is a testament to our progress, but also the
work that remains to ensure true equality for our fellow citizens who are lesbian, gay,
bisexual, or transgendered. (Applause) Our Muslim friends and neighbours who run businesses and serve in our governments and
in our armed forces, and are friends with our children, play on our sports teams…
we’ve got to stand up against the slander and the hate levelled against those who look
or worship differently. That’s our obligation. That’s who we are. That’s what makes America
special. That’s what makes Canada special. (Applause)
Here… here in Canada, a woman has already risen to the highest office in the land. In
America, for the first time, a woman is the presumptive nominee of a major party, and
perhaps president. (Applause)
I have a bias on these issues, but… (Laughter)
… but our work won’t be finished until all women in our country are truly equal, paid
equally, treated equally, given the same opportunities as men; when our girls have the same opportunities
as our boys. That’s who we need to be. (Cheers & applause) And let me say this, because I don’t feel particularly politically correct on this issue.
I don’t believe that these are American values or Canadian values or Western values. I believe,
and Justin believes, and I hope all of you believe these are universal values…
(Applause) … and we must be bold in their defense at
home and around the world, and not shy away from speaking up on behalf of these values
of pluralism and tolerance and equality. (Cheers & applause) I fear sometimes that we are timid in defense of these… these values. That’s why we’ll
continue to stand up for those inalienable rights here in our own hemisphere, in places
like Cuba and Venezuela, but also in more distant lands, for the rights of citizens
in civil society to speak their mind and work for change; for the rights of journalists
to report the truth; for the rights of people of all faiths to practice their religion freely.
Those things are hard, but they’re right. They’re not always convenient, but they’re
true. In the end, it is this respect for the dignity
of all people, especially the most vulnerable among us, that perhaps more than anything
else binds our two countries together. Being Canadian, being American is not about what
we look like or where our families came from, it is about our commitment to a common creed.
And that’s why, together, we must not waver in embracing our values, our best selves.
And that includes our history as a nation of immigrants. And we must continue to welcome
people from around the world. (Applause) The vibrancy of our economies are enhanced by the addition of new striving immigrants.
But this is not just a matter of economics. Refugees escape barrel bombs and torture.
Migrants cross deserts and seas seeking a better life. We cannot simply look the other
way. We certainly can’t label as possible terrorists vulnerable people who are fleeing
terrorists. (Applause) We can insist that the process is orderly. We can insist that our security is preserved.
Borders means something. But in moments like this, we are called upon to see ourselves
in others, because we were all once strangers. If you weren’t a stranger, your grandparents
were strangers, your great-grandparents were strangers. They didn’t all have their papers
ready. They fumbled with language, faced discrimination, had cultural norms that didn’t fit. At some
point, somewhere, your family was an outsider. And so the mothers, the fathers, the children
we see today, they’re us. We can’t forsake them. So as Americans and Canadians, we will
continue to welcome refugees, and we can ensure that we’re doing so in a way that maintains
our security. We can and we will do both. (Applause) We can and we will do both. We’re increasing our support to Central America so that fewer
families and children attempt the dangerous journey north. This fall at the United Nations,
we’ll host a global summit on refugees because in the face of this crisis, more nations need
to step up and meet our basic obligations to our fellow human beings. And it will be
difficult and budgets are tight, and there are legitimate issues, and not everybody is
going to be helped. But we can try. People of good will and compassion show us the way.
Greek islanders pulling families to shore and Germans handing out sweets to migrants
at railway stations. A synagogue in Virginia inviting Syrian refugees to dinner. And here
in Canada, the world has been inspired as Canadians across this country have opened
up their hearts and their homes. We’ve watched citizens knitting toques to keep refugees
warm in the winter. (Laughter)
And we’ve seen your prime minister welcome new arrivals at the airport and extend a hand
of friendship and say, you’re safe at home now. And we see the refugees who feel that
they have a special duty to give back and seize the opportunity of a new life. The girl
who fled Afghanistan by donkey and camel and jet plane and who remembers being greeted
in this country by helping hands and the sound of robins singing, and today, she serves in
this chamber and in the cabinet because Canada is her home.
(Cheers & applause) A country is not something you build as the
pharaohs built the pyramids. A country is something that is built every day, out of
certain basic shared values. How true that is. How blessed we are to have had people
before us day-by-day, brick-by-brick, build these extraordinary countries of ours. How
fortunate, how privileged we are to have the opportunity to now, ourselves, build this
world anew. What a blessing. And as we go forward together on that freedom road, let’s
stay true to the values that make us who we are, Canadians and Americans, allies and friends,
now and forever. Thank you very much. Merci beaucoup. Thank
you. (Cheers & applause) Honourable George Furey: Mr. President, Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker
of the House of Commons, Excellencies, Honourable Senators, Members
of the House of Commons, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. President, it is a great honour for me to thank you for being here today and for addressing this joint session of our Parliament.
The enthusiasm with which you have been received has already spoken far more eloquently than
anything I may add about the admiration which we have for you… (Applause) As our countries both seek to advance the
same principles that you had already mentioned, we share the same hopes and dreams not only for ourselves, but for that of our brother nations as well… Because of this shared belief in upholding
these principles, Canadians from across this great country have followed your presidency
closely and we have watched you face many challenges.
But through it all … you have persisted…with calm… with reason … and with an unwavering
clarity of purpose … The result has been an extraordinary legacy for the American people – and for the whole of the international community. (Applause) The great American philosopher and war veteran Philip Hallie, when writing about the turmoil in
the world, said that we are – each of us – living in the eye of a hurricane. The
destructive and cruel power in the world – of both nature and our fellow human beings – is
always nearby … swirling around us. But in the centre – in the eye of the hurricane
– there can be peace and calm. Our job, individually and collectively, is to do our
best to push out the borders of that eye of the storm … to expand the calm, the reasonable
and the good that is, and can be, in the world we live in.
Mr. President, in a world that has so often seemed riven by waves of anger and destruction,
by unimaginable acts of violence and forces beyond our control, you have stood tall for
the power of reason over passion, and principle over politics.
In your own words you have cautioned us… (Applause) In your own words from the audacity of hope you have cautioned us that: “We will need to remind ourselves, despite all our differences, just how much we share : common hopes, common
dreams and, above all, a bond that will not be broken.” (Applause) In closing Mr. President, on behalf of my parliamentary colleagues and indeed, on behalf of all Canadians, I thank you for the inspiring words you shared
with us today … for your years of leadership in the world, and, most especially, for your strong friendship with our great country: Canada Thank you … Merci beaucoup. (Applause) HONOURABLE GEOFF REGAN:
Mr. President, Prime Minister, Madamme Grégoire Trudeau, Mr. Speaker of the Senate, Excellencies, Hon. senators,
members of the House of Commons, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Mr. President, on behalf of all of us here
in the Chamber, I would like to thank you for having addressed us today. It’s nice
to have you back in Ottawa, and to be able to receive you when the city is at its loveliest. The last time you dropped by, in February
2009, the weather was decidedly cooler, so everyone in Ottawa still remembers that you
braved the cold to stop in a nearby bakery and pick up some maple leaf cookies for your
daughters! Now sir, you mentioned a few flecks of gray you have in your hair. When a newly-minted Prime Minister Trudeau
visited you last fall in Washington, you very kindly tried to prepare him for the greying
effect of leadership, telling him: “If, in fact, you plan to keep your dark hair,
you’ll have to start dyeing it early.” May I just say to you both: “ It could be
worse.” (Laughter and applause) There is an inscription, embedded
in granite on the International Friendship Memorial that marks the opening of the St.
Lawrence Seaway and Power Project, dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II and U.S. Vice-President
Nixon, near Prescott, Ontario in 1959. It reads as follows: “This stone bears witness to the common
purpose of two nations, whose frontiers are the frontiers of friendship, whose ways are
the ways of freedom, and whose works are the works of peace.” It would take much too long to count the ways
in which Canada and the United States have come together to create a better life for
their own people, but also for humanity. However, over the years, several of our respective
leaders have commented on the close friendship between our two countries. Almost 40 years ago, former Prime Minister
Pierre Elliot Trudeau remarked in a speech to Congress: “…The friendship between
our two countries is so basic, so non-negotiable, that it has long since been regarded as the
standard for enlightened international relations.” (Applause) When you last visited us, in February 2009,
you echoed those sentiments: “As neighbours, we are so closely linked
that sometimes we may have a tendency to take our relationship for granted, but the very
success of our friendship throughout history demands that we renew and deepen our cooperation
here in the 21st century.” And as a good neighbour, here you are again,
doing just that. Mr. President, thank you for your visit, for
your friendship and for strengthening the enduring family ties that bind our two nations together. Thank you, and have a safe trip home. (Applause)