Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Christmas message calls on Canadians to stay united as a country and see the silver lining in a chaotic year.
In his statement released Thursday, Christmas Eve, Trudeau acknowledged that this holiday season was unique in Canadian history and many across the country would be having a very different experience than in past years, with fewer family gatherings and visits with friends.
“This time of year is supposed be full of joy, light and family traditions,” Trudeau said. “But this Christmas is different.”
“This isn’t the holiday season we wanted, I know,” he said.
But Trudeau’s address focused on the bright side, calling on Canadians to stick by each other during a difficult time and continue to show love and compassion to one another. Despite the difficulties of the year, Trudeau said, there was still good in Canadians’ lives.
“We can and should give thanks for everything that unites us,” he said.
He pointed to the compassion Canadians have shown to their friends and neighbours in need, sacrifices made to help others, the retooling of businesses and the constant efforts of front-line workers.
“We can all agree that 2020 has been a tough year, but through it we’ve seen Canadians meet these challenging times with generosity, kindness and hope.”
Trudeau’s remarks were released a day after the approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for use in Canada.
Though Trudeau noted vaccines represented an eventual end to the pandemic, he took a much darker tone in comments concerning the holidays earlier in the week, warning Canadians not to gather in large groups or with extended family.
Looking forward to the new year, Trudeau called on Canadians to continue to stand together, with the end of the pandemic in sight.
“My friends, this crisis will end, and as a country we will come out of it stronger and more united.”
He closed his message with Christmas wishes from him and his family: his wife Sophie and children Hadrien, Xavier and Ella-Grace.