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Governor General of Canada's New Year's Message

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/28/12 -- Happy New Year, Canada! The first of January is a time to reflect on what has passed and to look forward to the days ahead. For Canadians, the year 2012 was full of notable milestones.

It was the year in which Her Majesty The Queen marked 60 years of service to Canada and to the Commonwealth. The Diamond Jubilee gave us an opportunity to thank Her Majesty for the role she plays as Queen of Canada, and I, in turn, would like to thank all those who joined in the celebration.

As governor general and commander-in-chief, I was pleased to commemorate several other milestone anniversaries during the past year.

At Rideau Hall, we marked the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Decorations for Bravery. These honours, which pay tribute to courageous individuals who risk their own safety to help others in need, remind us that bravery and caring go hand-in-hand.

The past year also saw the 40th anniversary of the Order of Military Merit and the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid-two occasions that allowed us to express our gratitude to the men and women of the Canadian Forces, past and present.

And not least, I was pleased to participate in the 100th anniversary celebrations of another proud Canadian institution: the Grey Cup championship game. I am sure that my predecessor Lord Grey, who donated the cup for a Canadian football championship, would be pleased to see the sport thriving in Canada today.

In fact, as we kick off the New Year, I would like to broaden the challenge made by Lord Grey 100 years ago. Just as he sought to highlight physical fitness through sport, I would like to encourage all Canadians to embrace healthy living-regardless of the form it takes.

It is so important that we pay attention to our health and wellness, and there are so many ways to do so. By engaging in physical activity, being mindful of our diet, spending time outdoors in the fresh air and tending to our mental and emotional health, we can make a real difference in our quality of life.

One of the wonderful things about a healthy lifestyle is that everyone can improve their habits in some way. Throughout my life, I have committed to staying physically active, and exercise continues to be an important part of my daily routine.

The benefits of taking care of mind and body are undeniable, as are the risks of neglect. As Canadians, let us make 2013 the year in which we commit to healthy living.

That is a New Year's resolution worthy of a smart and caring nation! On behalf of my wife, Sharon, and our entire family, I wish a Happy New Year to all.

David Johnston

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