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Governor General Julie Payette is wishing everyone a happy Canada Day on the country's 151st birthday.

In a release this morning Payette says "Wherever you are today, whether you’re in Canada or abroad, wear your maple leaf proudly. This is your celebration."

The former astronaut says her first year as Governor General has been "quite a ride," allowing her to meet exceptional Canadians from all origins as she travels around the country.

In her first Canada Day message Payette says Canadians are fortunate to live in a country where so much is possible and where people can — as she puts it — "dare to dream."

She urges Canadians to get out and discover their vast country in their own way, to have fun and to remain "open, caring and engaged."