- 'If I am to be known for anything, I would like it to be for encouraging Canadians, for knowing a little bit about their daily, extraordinary courage. And for wanting that courage to be recognized.'
- 'Volunteers have enriched the lives of every Canadian, and asked nothing for themselves. Now we will honour the hidden helpers and the unsung heroes of Canada. It is time to give something back to the givers.'
- 'I am told that there is a proverbial phrase among the Inuit: 'a long time ago, in the future.' Let the children see our history, and maybe it will help to shape the future.'
- 'We owe the Aboriginal peoples a debt that is four centuries old. It is their turn to become full partners in developing an even greater Canada. And the reconciliation required may be less a matter of legal texts than of attitudes of the heart.'
- 'We send our [peacekeepers] off to some disputed zone, full of local intrigue and power blocs and uncertainty and danger, and they are supposed to save lives not with their weapons, but through their competence and their character. And they do it.'