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GG wants to see 'smarter, more caring' Canada

GG wants to see 'smarter, more caring' CanadaGovernor General David Johnston oversees a ceremony giving royal assent to government legislation in the Senate on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, December 12, 2013. In his annual New Year's message, David Johnston urged Canadians to give their time, talent or money to build a stronger country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

OTTAWA - The Governor General would like to see a "smarter, more caring" Canada in the New Year.

In his annual New Year's message, David Johnston urged Canadians to give their time, talent or money to build a stronger country.

He called it discovering your "giving moment."

"It doesn’t matter if your gift is large or small," he said. "We all have something to contribute, and I encourage everyone to find out what that could be."

Johnston encouraged those who give to tell their friends and neighbours why they do it, so the culture of giving is passed on.

"These acts of sharing create a virtuous circle, a wonderful reciprocity, in which we find so many participants," he said.

"When we add up all the moments throughout this country, when all of us discover what we have to give, the result is a smarter, more caring nation."

Johnston noted that Canadians responded to tragedies in 2013, pointing to the flooding that struck Alberta, the deadly train derailment in Lac Megantic, Quebec and other disasters around the world.

But he said there's much more to do to build Canada's culture of giving.

"The New Year is a blank slate full of possibility. It is a time to look back and rejoice in what we have accomplished," he said. "And it is a time to look forward, with hope and optimism."

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