‘No student gets to choose the world into which they graduate’: Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a commencement speech to post-secondary graduates at Carleton University in Ottawa. In his virtual speech during the COVID-19 pandemic, he spoke about the courage of the young generation, who had it in them to stand up for what is right. He said, “Make no mistake. Getting a degree is a momentous achievement but you never needed a piece of paper to call out injustice. You didn’t wait for this day to demand change. To create change”.

Trudeau drew a comparison of the graduating class of 2020 with that which passed out after the Great Depression and had survived through World War. “The challenge facing the class of 2020 is not dissimilar. The choices you will make – both big and small – in the next few years will decide the future of our country and of our world. And I cannot think of a generation better prepared to set us on the right path forward.”

He also spoke of how challenging it is to cope with the coronavirus, but appreciated the manner in which the youth have been handling it.

“What matters most is looking out for the most vulnerable, understanding the impact of our choices on others, and being there for each other. This is what these unprecedented times are teaching you. And reminding us all. That friends matter. That the people around us matter. It’s time that we reclaim the idea of community, of being a good neighbour, of being a good friend both online and in real life.”

“Recent events have just opened our eyes to what was right in front of us all along. That you care. You care about each other. You care about people you’ve never met and never will. You care about what happens next. I know you got this. And so do you.”

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