Compassion, innovation focus of Gov. Gen.'s new year message

In his new year message, Governor General David Johnston thanked Canadians for showing compassion to incoming Syrian refugees and said he hopes the warm welcome Canada's newest residents have received will continue into 2016.

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"Let’s continue together on this bold path of compassion, inclusion, innovation and excellence," Johnston said in a video message released Tuesday.

"Let's continue to demonstrate to the world what a smart and caring nation can look like in the 21st century."

Johnston stressed the importance of innovation and the need to celebrate innovators in our society.

He pointed to Canadian scientist Arthur McDonald, who in 2015 won the Nobel Prize in physics for his work on tiny particles known as neutrinos.

Johnston said the Nobel win was "an honour that made us all proud."

He added that Canada must continue to "adapt and improve."

"Part of doing that successfully means fostering a culture of innovation and celebrating those who lead the way," he said, noting that the inaugural Governor General's Innovation Awards ceremony will be held in 2016.

Johnston said with each passing year he gains a deeper appreciation "of how very precious our tolerant, prosperous and beautiful country is."



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