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  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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News

End of Visit to Barbados

April 30, 2012

Governor General Promotes
Education and Business Partnerships in Barbados

BRIDGETOWN—During their two-day working visit to Barbados, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston met with the Honourable Elliott Belgrave, Acting Governor General of Barbados, and the Honourable Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, to discuss stronger business, security and educational linkages between the two Commonwealth countries.

The Governor General reinforced Canada’s interest in expanding education-related partnerships during his visit to Bellairs Research Institute, McGill University’s teaching and research facility in Barbados. He also highlighted the range and depth of the education partnerships in a keynote speech to students, academics and alumni from Canadian institutions at Barbados Community College:

“There are strong and long-standing ties of learning between our two countries. Canadian scholarships have opened the door for many Barbadians to higher education over the past few decades, and graduates of Canadian schools are now working in many professions across the Caribbean. Whether you are from Barbados or from Canada, these exchanges invariably prove full of insight and discovery. And how could they not, given our diverse histories, cultures and geographies, as well as our fundamental similarity as peoples who believe in the promise of learning?” said His Excellency.

The Governor General also hosted a networking meeting on our countries’ close bilateral relationship, which he pointed out has been built on the robust people-to-people ties established through immigration and tourism, as well as through commercial, educational and other connections. While this relationship already supports both nations’ co-operation within the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Organization of American States, the meeting with Canadian and Barbadian government officials, and representatives from business, and educational sectors was held to facilitate the continued expansion and development of the relationship.

The working visit to Barbados concluded with a meeting with members of the Barbados Defence Force, government and private sector officials at the Historic Garrison, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Governor General underscored the long-standing trade, security and Commonwealth ties between both countries, as they celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

Throughout the visit to Barbados, His Excellency was joined by the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), other parliamentarians and an accompanying delegation of Canadians who enhanced people-to-people ties with their Barbadian counterparts. These exchanges provided greater visibility for co-operation initiatives in various sectors, particularly in strategies promoting education and economic development.

Their Excellencies will be undertaking a State visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on May 1 and 2, 2012, where the Governor General will mark 50 years of bilateral relations with the country and underline its 50th anniversary of independence.

Members of the public can learn more about these visits online at www.gg.ca, where speeches, photos and videos of the Governor General are posted.

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Media can download photos and video of the Governor General’s visit to Brazil at http://media-gg-ca.smugmug.com.

Media information:               

In Brazil :
Marie-Ève Létourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office
marie-eve.letourneau@gg.ca

In Ottawa:
Julie Rocheleau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-7280
julie.rocheleau@gg.ca

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