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Gov. Gen. Mary May Simon inspects members of the Guard of Honour at the legislature in Victoria, on May 20.CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

Governor-General Mary Simon says 2022 was a “difficult and monumental year” marked by the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Ms. Simon, who serves as the monarch’s representative in Canada, remembered the Queen’s death in her annual New Year’s message.

She died in September after celebrating 70 years on the throne, the longest reign of any British monarch.

Ms. Simon says over the past year, Canadians also witnessed devastating weather events caused by climate change and continued to experience the emotions sparked by the discovery of what are believed to be the unmarked graves of Indigenous children at former residential school sites.

Ms. Simon, who is Inuk, also spoke about those in northern and remote parts of Canada who live in darkness over the winter and use that time to “tell stories, rejuvenate and to move forward together.”

Ms. Simon, the country’s first Indigenous governor-general, encouraged Canadians to do the same and to reach out to their friends and neighbours.

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