Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians to “give thanks for everything that unites us” and continue to support one another amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his annual Christmas message, Trudeau says the holiday season is supposed to be “filled with joy and family traditions,” but acknowledged that the novel coronavirus has changed festivities this year.
“Families aren’t getting together for big dinners and friends aren’t stopping by for cookies and eggnog. This isn’t the holiday season we want, I know,” he said in a video message on Christmas Eve.
However, Trudeau said the spirit of the holidays remains the same.
“Even though this year’s Christmas traditions will be different, we can and should give thanks for everything that unites us, because today is a time to recognize all the good that we have in our lives,” he said.
Despite restrictions put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Trudeau said Canadians can still show one another compassion and love, which he says “has never been more important” than this year.
While Trudeau noted that 2020 has been a tough year, he said Canadians have met these “challenging times with generosity, kindness, and hope.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Trudeau said neighbours have helped one another, children have given up playdates and birthday parties, and businesses have retooled to help in the ongoing battle against the virus.
He also recognized Canada’s front-line workers for putting themselves at risk every day to keep others safe.
“This year, everyone has done their part because that’s who we are as Canadians. We show up for each other, and that’s what Christmas and Canada is all about,” Trudeau said.
In his message, Trudeau said the COVID-19 crisis will end and Canada will come out of it “stronger and more united.” He added that Canadians must continue to support one another as the fight against the coronavirus continues into 2021.
“Today and into the new year, let’s continue to stand together, but support folks in need in our communities and let’s reach out to our friends and neighbours who may be having a tough time,” Trudeau said.