Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony in Ottawa, Canada

April 05, 1987

Your Excellency, Nancy and I are delighted to be in Canada again. It was our privilege in the winter of 1981 to make our first foreign visit as President and First Lady to our neighbors in this proud and lovely capital city. And we still fondly remember the warm and friendly welcome we received in Quebec 2 years ago. As before, and I hope as always, we come as friends and partners, sharing similar dreams and goals for our people: peace, freedom, and prosperity. And working together, we have gone far toward making those dreams a reality.

No two countries in the world, as you have said, for example, have as great a range of trade and investment exchanges at all levels—from an individual's vacation trip to a mammoth contract for electric power—as the United States and Canada. No two countries trade more with each other. No two countries invest in each other's industry or engage in leisure activities in our neighbor's playgrounds to the extent that we do. And the citizens of both our countries—as businessmen, farmers, workers, and consumers—have benefited accordingly. The Canadian writer Stephen Leacock said of our border: "By an odd chance, the 49th parallel, an astronomical line, turned out to mean something. Not just a point of navigational reference, it became a line appropriately inscribed in the heavens that symbolizes the meeting place of two great, free nations, two nations whose enduring friendship stands as an example of peace and harmony to the all-too troubled world."

Well, we have significant matters to discuss during our stay here. This is an important prelude to the upcoming economic summit in Venice. But I would like to emphasize, Your Excellency, that our economic relationship—call it the business of being neighbors—is only a small part of the future that we share. Speaking for all Americans on our side of the border, the best part for us is simply our good fortune to share this beautiful continent with the people of your great country. With that thought and with deep appreciation for your kind words of welcome, let me say: Nous sommes tres heureux d'etre ici parmi des amis [We are very happy to be here among friends].

Note: The President spoke at 3:50 p.m. at the Uplands Canadian Forces Base. Prior to his remarks, he was accorded a formal welcome with full military honors. He was greeted by Jeanne Sauve, Governor General of Canada.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony in Ottawa, Canada Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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