Dear Friends:

Today, as we mark World Polio Day, I commend Rotarians for your efforts to eradicate Polio. I was deeply humbled to accept the Rotary Foundation Polio Eradication Champion Award in Toronto on October 18, and extend my personal thanks for this special honour.

I have a great deal of admiration and respect for the good works carried out by Rotarians in Canada, and around the globe. Your organization has made extraordinary contributions to a diverse range of humanitarian services – championing the eradication of polio chief among them. Your members make a positive difference in communities around the globe.
Canadians have been proud to work with partners, such as Rotary, to eradicate polio. Since 2006, Canada has disbursed $297 million to support polio eradication efforts, namely through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Canada's support to the GPEI has contributed to the immunization of millions of children around the globe. We will continue to work with our partners to help put an end to this devastating childhood disease which can be prevented with a simple vaccine.

Once again, thank you for bestowing the Rotary Foundation Polio Eradication Champion Award on me. More importantly, thank you for leading global efforts to end polio. I offer my best wishes to the Rotary Foundation for continued success in your laudable endeavours.

The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada