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 (Russian Federation, Guinea, Ecuador, Monaco)

Rideau Hall, Tuesday, December 16, 2014



I would like to welcome you here to Rideau Hall and to Canada, your new home away from home.

As we approach the holiday season and the New Year, it is time to look back on the year that was. There is no doubt that the past year had its share of opportunities, as well as new challenges.

And as we look ahead, 2015 has great potential to be a bright and wonderful year, as long as we are willing to work together to make it so.

All of us here in this room know how important it is to maintain good relations, to find common ground and understanding, to find new ways to collaborate for the good of our countries and the entire world. That is diplomacy at its best.

Ambassador Darchiev, you know how vital open dialogue is to preserving and strengthening ties between countries. I was pleased to learn that you also have knowledge of our country, gained during your time as a scholar with the Institute for US and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences. You will find many opportunities to apply your knowledge directly, to learn more about our country first-hand, and to experience the warmth and generosity of Canada.

In many spheres and fields of endeavour, Canada and Russia are working together for the good of both our peoples. We are collaborating on the Arctic Council, for instance, on matters relating to the North. Our stewardship of this vast region will be a key issue in the future, and Canada is pleased that we share similar goals in this regard. I also hope that we can build on our people-to-people ties in areas of cultural exchange, education, research and science.

Ambassador Touré, you and I share a similar concern about the environment and the state of our natural world. I look forward to speaking with you about that and about how our two countries can continue to work together to develop our natural resources more responsibly. I encourage you to travel throughout our country and meet with many Canadians to discover new ways to strengthen our ties.

I am pleased to see that Guinea and Canada are partnering to help those in greatest need. Although our relations are modest, they are based on mutual respect and similar interests. Please also let me express Canada’s continued support as Guinea continues to fight the spread of the Ebola virus. In times such as these, it is important to remember that borders are no barrier to disease, nor should they be to help. I am proud that our countries are working together on this and a number of other matters.

Ambassador Trujillo, I am pleased to see that you will bring your experiences to Canada, particularly as an entrepreneur with knowledge of international relations and trade. You spent much of your career building ties between your country and the US, which benefited both peoples. I now invite you to travel across this nation and to meet with Canadians. I believe you will find many opportunities to expand on our ties, in trade and investment, certainly, but beyond that as well.

One way that Ecuador and Canada can co‑operate further is through education, which I know is a priority for your country. As a former university administrator, I know first-hand the challenges, and the advantages, of building a strong knowledge economy with quality schools at its centre. I look forward to speaking with you about ways we can do more together.

Ambassador Maccario Doyle, it is a pleasure to have you here in our country. Your previous experience in North America is one advantage you will have as you assume your new role. I would also like to encourage you to expand your philanthropic and volunteerism efforts—for which you have been recognized in your home country and in the US. I believe you will find many Canadians willing to help you make this a smarter, more caring world.

Monaco and Canada, in fact, can do so much to improve the lives of individuals. We are proud to collaborate so closely in such organizations as the United Nations and La Francophonie—which just named the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, former governor general of Canada, as secretary general. Through these organizations, and through our people-to-people ties and our mutual respect and support, we can have a positive impact on the world.

I know that all of you, all nations, all ambassadors, can work together for the betterment of our peoples. It is with this hope that I wish you a wonderful New Year, as well as a warm welcome to you and your families to Canada.

Thank you.