(ANNews) – Mary Simon, Canada’s first Indigenous governor general, who was sworn in earlier this year, has released her first public address of the new year. Simon is an Inuit woman from Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik (Quebec).

“In Inuktitut, there is a concept called: ajuinnata,” she says. “Although it means a commitment, a promise, a wish, it is also much more. We find meaning in his action.

She went on to acknowledge the key issues currently facing Canada as we enter the New Year. While remaining positive and providing a soothing calm, Simon spoke about COVID-19, climate change and Canada’s reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

“Together we are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with vaccinations and public health measures,” Simon said.

The eastern Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador all entered the new year, reporting new spikes in their daily COVID-19 counts, as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly across Canada.

In Quebec, they recorded five consecutive days of record infections. And Ontario had 18,445 new cases on Saturday, which broke the previous record of 16,713 cases.

Meanwhile, Alberta has delayed the reopening of its public schools while its post-secondary institutions return to online learning.

And while no new restrictions are being put in place, the province’s chief medical officer of health, Deena Hinshaw, has told Albertans to cut their close contacts in half.

Despite Alberta’s decision to stop reporting daily case counts until January 4, Dr Hinshaw said there are approximately 21,000 active COVID cases in the province and estimates that number to be significantly higher. high due to Albertans skipping PCR testing and opting for rapid at-home antigen testing.

The Governor General continued her speech: “Together, we are thinking about creative and innovative solutions to save our planet.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report in August, outlining the current effects of climate change:

“Human-induced climate change is already affecting many extreme weather and climate events in all regions of the world. The evidence for observed changes in extremes such as heat waves, heavy rainfall, droughts and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since the Fifth Assessment Report ( AR5).

These weather changes were felt by the entire province of British Columbia as 2021 saw massive heat waves and torrential rains that flooded the province’s infrastructure and caused massive destruction to the road network.

The province is also tackling the problem of logging in British Columbia’s old-growth forests, home to 200-year-old carbon-filled trees that big companies see as an alternative to fossil fuels. However, many believe that harvesting ancient trees is unsustainable.

And in Alberta, the province will soon release a report that determines the future of coal mining in the Rocky Mountain foothills and eastern slopes.

Earlier this year, there was a huge public backlash from many Albertans who forced the government to create an expert panel that gathered the public’s recommendations and opinions on coal mining in the mountains. of the province.

It was supposed to be released on December 31 but was delayed until after the New Year.

The Governor General continued her speech. “Together we walk the path of reconciliation on a lifelong journey of healing, respect and understanding,” she said.

Earlier this year, the remains of 215 children were found in unmarked graves at a former boarding school in Kamloops, British Columbia. Another 751 unmarked graves have been discovered at a former Cowessess First Nation residential school in Saskatchewan. The outcry was felt nationally and brought Canada’s history with Indigenous peoples to the world stage.

Even the Catholic Church is ready to apologize for the atrocities committed in the Church-run residential schools.

However, despite the chaotic turbulence in the world right now, it’s important to remember that positive words of perseverance don’t come in times of ease.

The Governor General concluded her remarks: “With every difficult question we ask, we find answers about how we can make Canada a truly inclusive and sustainable country.

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