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  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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News

End of Visit to Trinidad and Tobago

May 2, 2012

Governor General Underlines 50 Years of Bilateral Relations with Trinidad and Tobago

As the Country Celebrates 50 years of Independence

PORT OF SPAIN—Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston concluded today their State visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, where they marked 50 years of bilateral relations between the two Commonwealth countries and congratulated Trinidad and Tobago for celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence this year.

Their Excellencies were officially welcomed by His Excellency George Maxwell Richards, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In honour of 50 years of bilateral relations, the Governor General presented a commemorative coin to the President and Prime Minister to mark this milestone. His Excellency also unveiled a plaque outlining this long-lasting friendship between both countries at the High Commission of Canada in Port of Spain.

On behalf of all Canadians, the Governor General paid his respects to Canadian servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War II by laying a wreath at the St. James Commonwealth Military Cemetery. His Excellency also participated in an exchange about Canada’s corporate social responsibility efforts and commercial relationship with Trinidad and Tobago. Present at the networking meeting were leaders of the Canadian business community, as well as heads of business associations and key government officials.

The State visit concluded with a keynote address by His Excellency on “Educating and Innovating in a Connected World”at the University of the West Indies:

“Education is the primary means by which we can increase our choices and thrive as human beings. In Canada, we have worked together throughout our history to build a strong public education system, understanding that education is a great social and economic equalizer. Education and human development are inexorably linked. In the 21st century, the well-being of whole societies will be determined by their ability to learn and innovate, as well as to share the knowledge they have gathered. This type of sharing results in what I like to call the diplomacy of knowledge,” said His Excellency.

While in Trinidad and Tobago, security co-operation announcements were made by the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs). The Governor General witnessed the signature of a Corrections Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate information and personnel exchanges with Trinidad and Tobago, and of a Technical Framework Arrangement that will allow qualified Canadian companies to access commercial opportunities in the health sector. His Excellency also attended the launch of a Canadian Corporate Social Responsibility Booklet and Website by the Canadian business community and the High Commission of Canada.

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

Their Excellencies had undertaken an official visit to the Federative Republic of Brazil from April 22 to 28; a working visit to Barbados on April 29 and 30; and a State visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on May 1 and 2, 2012. Members of the public can learn more about these visitsonline 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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