Thank you for your warm welcome.
And thank you for the chance to share this reviewing stand with:
- The Minister of National Defence, Gordon O’Connor.
- The Chief of Defence Staff, General Hillier.
I am extremely honoured to be able to attend today’s swearing-in ceremony for new military recruits and reservists joining the regular Force.
Your recruitment to the Canadian military is more than just an individual decision today.
It means you are becoming part of the historic and honourable tradition of military service to Canada.
A new chapter in the story of the generations of Canadians who protect their nation at home and abroad.
It is a big responsibility.
But you are up to the task.
The Canadian military
Canadians hold their service men and women in high regard.
And rightly so.
Since our Confederation was established in 1867, Canadian military personnel have served our country with pride and honour.
In times of war — and in times of peace.
They stood with our allies in both world wars.
They fought tyranny during the Cold War — both in Europe and in Korea.
And they served in hot spots around the world as part of peacekeeping missions.
Often they faced great danger and often they gave their lives.
But through it all, these men and women have showed great bravery.
Dedication to duty.
Love of country.
They showed the fortitude and courage needed to complete their mission.
And they are the foundation on which our Canada has become strong, united, independent and free.
Which is why military service is the highest form of service anyone can undertake for this country.
The Afghan Mission
A prime example of this is the ongoing mission in Afghanistan.
Where Canadian Forces personnel are playing a key role in helping the Afghan people rebuild their war-torn country.
And in keeping Canada safe by ensuring that Afghanistan can never again be used as a haven for terrorist groups.
Not too long ago, I visited Afghanistan.
I was inspired by the commitment and courage of our troops.
They are also protecting the Afghan people and aid workers so vitally important humanitarian and development work can go forward.
They are treating the sick, injured and elderly.
They are protecting schools so children can get a good education.
They are allowing free elections to take place.
And women to enjoy the basic rights due every citizen.
These are life-changing moments for every Afghan citizen.
That will allow them to enjoy the freedoms we take for granted in this country.
But, of course, that’s not all the Armed forces are doing in Afghanistan.
Working with 35 allied nations and the Afghan National Army and police, they are helping to take back the countryside from terrorist groups and drug lords.
They are removing minefields one by one.
They are guarding roads and key public and government facilities.
They are in one of the most dangerous places in the world and they are standing on the front lines, protecting us.
It is a dangerous world and we cannot escape it by turning a blind eye to it.
Today, Canadians have learned that the RCMP and Toronto area police, with the help of CSIS and our intelligence community have arrested 17 individuals for terrorism offences under the Criminal Code.
Their alleged target was Canada.
The Canadian economy.
The Canadian people.
As at other times in our history, we are a target because of who we are.
And how we live.
Our society, our diversity, and our values.
Values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
Values that make Canada great.
Values that Canadians cherish.
Values that citizens like you are willing to defend.
I would like to commend the work of the RCMP, CSIS and local police authorities in conducting this operation.
We will continue to support them by strengthening our laws, our policies and the resources dedicated to the fight against terrorism here and around the world.
Today, Canada’s security and intelligence measures worked.
Canada’s new Government will continue its efforts to ensure the national security of all Canadians.
And you in the Canadian Forces working with our police and intelligence services, will help us do just that.
A Canadian Military to be Proud of
This Sunday, our country will be celebrating Canadian Forces Day.
A day in which Canadians show how proud they are of the young men and women who are defending Canada ‘s honour,
keeping our country safe.
And guaranteeing a brighter, more secure future for all Canadians.
That’s the type of armed forces that the new recruits will be joining.
Armed forces that:
- show international leadership,
- support humanitarian efforts and
- defend Canada’s national security.
It’s a military we can all be proud of.
That’s why Canadians support you.
That’s why Canada’s New Government is behind you 100%.
And why we are making sure you have everything you need to get the job done.
In closing, I would like to wish all of you every success in your Canadian Forces career.
We are behind you.
As you serve your country.
Defend our sovereignty.
Keep our citizens safe.
And promote our values around the world.
It will be tough at times.
It will push you to your limits.
And show what you are made of.
But it will be worth it.
As I look out upon all of you today, I can see that you are indeed up for the challenge.
Thank you. God bless all of you in what lies ahead.
And God bless Canada.
I’m certainly relieved that we have this Prime Minsiter in office. Can you imagine a speech of no substance making non-committal remarks that security and fighting
terrorists insurgents is very very important?