[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[February 23, 1995]
[Pages 251-252]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at a Luncheon in Ottawa
February 23, 1995

    Governor General LeBlanc, Mrs. LeBlanc, Prime Minister and Mrs. 
Chretien, ladies and gentlemen: Hillary and I are honored to be your 
first official guests, humbled to be reminded of the results of the last 
two World Series--[laughter]--grateful to be reminded of the results of 
the last Stanley Cup. [Laughter]
    I have to say for the benefit of the American press corps traveling 
with us and especially for my often beleaguered Press Secretary, Mr. 
McCurry, who's over there, the Governor General, I learned in 
preparation for this trip, in a former life was the Press Secretary to 
two previous Canadian Prime Ministers. So there is life after the 
labors, Mr. McCurry. [Laughter]
    It's a great pleasure for me to be here in this beautiful Rideau 
Hall to celebrate the friendship of our two nations. It is fitting that 
not far from here two rivers come together to form the powerful Rideau 
Falls, much like the strength of our two nations increase as we join 
together. Shared history, shared borders, they are the foundation of our 
unique and intensely productive relationship, an alliance the likes of 
which the world has really never seen before.
    From the Canadians who helped slaves to freedom on the Underground 
Railroad, to the battalions who fought side by side on the beaches of 
Normandy, to the United States astronaut who used a Canadian-made 
robotic arm on the space shuttle 2 weeks ago, Americans are grateful to 
our neighbors for helping us along the way.
    When President Kennedy visited Ottawa here over 30 years ago, he 
said, ``Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. 
Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies. Those 
whom nature has so joined together, let no man put asunder.'' So 
President Kennedy proclaimed our wedding vows--[laughter]--and I am here 
to tell you we should reaffirm them. The bond that the President 
described so well must continue to deepen. Together we have pushed open 
the doors of commerce and trade. We have found common ground to preserve 
the beauty and the natural resources of our lands. We have walked as one 
in our efforts to make the world beyond North America more secure and 
more free.
    I thank you for your support of our common endeavors in Haiti. I 
admire you for your faithfulness in seeking peace in the former 
Yugoslavia. And I thank you most recently for your support in the action 
we have taken to try to stabilize the situation in Mexico, our partner 
and friend.
    Today, instant communication has made our world so much smaller that 
some say the entire globe is our neighborhood. Yet, the ties that bind 
these two nations, Canada and the United States, remain unique. And as 
we move into the next century, let us, both of us, resolve

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to help make those ties grow in spirit, grow in harmony. The times 
demand it. Our children deserve it. The world is depending upon it.
    Thank you for welcoming me to this beautiful city and this wonderful 
    I would now like to offer a toast to Canada, to the Governor General 
and to Mrs. LeBlanc.

Note: The President spoke at 12:21 p.m. at the Governor General's 
residence. In his remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Jean Chretien 
and his wife, Aline.