by The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell,
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
This holiday season brings with it mixed and complicated emotions. It has been a year of challenges for all Ontarians.
My thoughts turn to those who have lost loved ones, those who will be disappointed because they cannot celebrate with extended family members in person, those who will miss out on cherished traditions and those who remain anxious and uncertain about what the near future will hold.
And yet, out of these unprecedented circumstances we have also seen the very best of humanity. Together, with creativity, courage and compassion we have supported each other – our families, neighbors and communities. We have much to be thankful for this holiday season.
I am so grateful to all those who serve. You who respond when we need you the most. Our doctors, nurses, and personal support workers. Our first responders, teachers, scientists and countless others. Those who never tire or fail to answer the call.
Equally, I appreciate those who take risks, sometimes at great personal cost, so that the rest of us can work from home. Those who keep us fed, deliver goods we need, and clean our public spaces, doing work that we take for granted. Those who put others before themselves, like our like small business owners and frontline workers. Throughout this pandemic, Ontarians have demonstrated that where the health and wellbeing of our fellow citizens is concerned, every act and sacrifice counts.
I am inspired by those who never give up hope. Those who are thinking boldly about a more just and sustainable future, where everyone finds acceptance, and every voice is heard. One with inclusive economic prosperity, dignity for all, and a new and better normal. One that respects Indigenous communities who have stewarded and shaped this land from time immemorial.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the character and resolve of the people of this province. So this year, whatever your faith or tradition, I encourage you to celebrate with purpose and a renewed optimism. Let us rejoice in all that we have overcome with warmth and generosity of spirit but let us also consider how we will remain energized for all we must yet accomplish. We are all in this together. Be kind to one another.
As The Queen’s representative in Ontario, I wish you good health and happiness. Quite simply, may you find peace.