Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on Canadians to recommit to the country’s values, including respect, hope and kindness, in his official Canada Day message.
The prime minister said the national holiday is an opportunity to commit to the values that the Maple Leaf represents, adding that the flag is more than a symbol.
"It's also a promise — a promise of opportunity, a promise of safety for those fleeing violence and war, and a promise of a better life," he said.
Along with people celebrating the holiday, convoy protesters opposed to COVID-19 restrictions — who often drape themselves in Canadian flags — will converge on Ottawa on Friday.
In his message, the prime minister says Canada, home to 38 million people, is strong because of its diversity, from people who are Indigenous to those who have only been here for a few weeks.
"No matter what our faith is, where we were born, what colour our skin is, what language we speak or whom we love, we are all equal members of this great country," he said. "And today we celebrate the place we all call home."
In an apparent reference to the treatment of Indigenous people, including at residential schools, the prime minister spoke about Canada's "historic wrongs," saying while we can't change history, we can work to build a better future.
In her official Canada Day message, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon said Canadians should work together to build an inclusive society.
She urged people to be kind to each other, learn from one another and listen to Indigenous Peoples, on whose land we live.
The Governor General is due to give a speech at formal celebrations in Ottawa on Friday, which will also be attended by the prime minister.