The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Presentation of Letters of Credence (Ghana, Georgia, Austria, Botswana)

Rideau Hall, Thursday, November 8, 2012


I would like to welcome all of you here to Rideau Hall, home of the people of Canada, and a place where you will always be welcome.

We gather today in a spirit of friendship that will, I hope, define your time in Canada. You come from around the world, speak different languages, have individual customs and traditions.

Yet, I have no doubt that all of you will discover something in this country that you will find familiar. Whether it is through our cultural diversity, the wealth of opportunity or just the warmth of Canadians, I know you will find comfort in your new home.

High Commissioner Valis-Akyianu, I would like to welcome you to Canada. Your deep knowledge and experience of Ghanaian society and government will be most welcome here. I also understand you served as a fireman prior to your current career, and I encourage you to visit the recently unveiled memorial to fallen Canadian firefighters in Ottawa.

It is a testament to our close relations that Canada has had a presence in Ghana for over a century. As long-standing partners, our two countries work together in so many different areas, including peace and security, and trade and investment. The many Canadians of Ghanaian origin highlight the importance of investing in our future together. Your presence in Canada will give us many more opportunities to strengthen and grow our already close relationship.

Ambassador Latsabidze, you are no stranger to Canada. Not only have you worked here before, helping to strengthen our ties, but you have also studied here. As such, you know the importance of an international education, one which opens up new worlds to students. I hope that we will have the chance to discuss ways in which our young people can take full advantage of our respective education systems.

The relationship between Georgia and Canada is growing and deepening every year. The embassy here, which you helped to establish a few years ago, provides us with even more opportunities to talk about the different ways our two nations can work together to the benefit of our peoples.

Ambassador Riedel, you have travelled extensively throughout the world, and you well know the opportunities that diplomacy can bring. You have spent much of your career looking beyond your borders for new ways to improve the lives of your people. As you settle into your new role here, I hope that you and your family will also take this opportunity to explore our nation in depth.

Austria and Canada have traditionally had a very close relationship, based on our shared values and similar goals. I note with pride that our universities and our young people are taking advantage of opportunities for exchange. I hope that your time here will allow us to extend these partnerships, as well as to discuss how we can improve our innovation and research collaboration.

High Commissioner Seretse, although you won’t be living in Canada, I want you to feel at home here. As often as possible, I encourage you and your family to take advantage of your new role and introduce yourselves to Canadian culture. There is so much to see and do, and there is so much opportunity for us to deepen our relationship.

Botswana and Canada share so many partnerships, particularly in our mining, consulting and high-tech industries. Your appointment will strengthen our ties and allow us to further other aspects of our relationship, including education. I look forward to talking with you more about what our two nations can accomplish together.

To all of you, I once again welcome you to Canada. I hope that, as you take on your new roles, this will be the beginning of new and greater collaborations between our respective countries.

Thank you.