The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
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Presentation of Letters of Credence (Ghana, Nepal, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Czech Republic, France)

Rideau Hall, Wednesday, February 18, 2015


It’s a pleasure to welcome you to Rideau Hall. Today, we celebrate your arrival in Canada, and we reaffirm the importance of diplomacy in today’s world.

At the heart of diplomacy is communication. Diplomacy is about taking part in dialogue and keeping the lines of communication open in all circumstances.

Nations are stronger when they work together. Our societies and our economies are improved when we practise diplomacy. We have so much to learn from one another. That is why I am delighted that you are here.

High Commissioner Gariba, you are no stranger to this country, or even this city. You have intimate knowledge of Canada, which comes from having studied and lived here for so long. I am confident you will continue to learn about this country, and that you will put that knowledge to good use in strengthening the relationship between Ghana and Canada.

Sharon and I still have very fond memories of our visit to Ghana in 2013. I remember visiting not only with members of your government, but also with educators and students, as well as farmers conducting agricultural research with Canadian support. In fact, our two countries are partners in many ways, building on a long history of good relations. I have every reason to believe that we will find even more ways to help each other, particularly given our mutual investment and growing trade.

Ambassador Pokhrel, as a career diplomat, you know the importance of your new responsibilities in building the relationship between Nepal and Canada. You are very familiar with this country, having served as chargé d’affaires for Canada while in Washington. During that time, you were instrumental in Nepal opening its first Canadian embassy in 2009. After all that you have done, it is a pleasure to have you here in Canada.

Canada and Nepal have good relations, but there is so much potential for our peoples to do more. Canadians are always looking for business opportunities, and several Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses have found an appealing market in your country. I hope we can expand our trade and our people-to-people ties, as we have so much to offer each other. Your presence is a chance for our countries to do more, and I look forward to discussing these possibilities with you.

Ambassador Dormond, you and I share a similar background in law and academia. This experience will be of great value to you, and I particularly encourage you to visit our schools and institutions of learning. I hope you will have the chance to explore new partnerships between our schools, educators and students. You will find Canadians eager to discuss with Costa Rica the ways in which we can improve our people-to-people connections. 

Canada and Costa Rica enjoy a robust friendship, based on common interests such as human rights, the rule of law, security and free trade. Our two countries continue to broaden our economic ties, particularly as our most important merchandise trade partner in Central America. I know that our relationship will evolve even more in the future, as our countries increasingly collaborate on the world stage.

High Commissioner Zoka, your public service, both at home and abroad, has given you a wealth of expertise that will benefit you in Canada. In particular, your close working relationship with the office of your president will allow you to communicate with clarity your country’s positions on a variety of issues. I hope you will travel this country far and wide to discover all we have to offer.

Tanzania remains a great friend of Canada’s and an important partner in such bodies as the Commonwealth and the United Nations. I’m pleased to see our relationship growing, particularly in trade, in areas such as power infrastructure, mining equipment and services, and oil and gas. As well, our merchandise trade is also increasing, up nearly 50 per cent in the last five years. Yet, there is still so much more we can accomplish. I wish you well in your efforts.

Ambassador Hrnčíř, you have taken up many different postings during your time as a diplomat, and I hope that Canada will be one of the most memorable. I look forward to hearing from you about your time as a volunteer, and also as children’s author! As a grandfather of 11 grandchildren, this is an area in which I have considerable interest. My best wishes for a successful tenure in Canada.

The Czech Republic and Canada are co-operating in several areas, including trade and investment, education, research and innovation, and security. I am pleased to see that increased mobility between our peoples has allowed us to learn together and to partner in diverse ways. I know your presence here will do much to improve an already strong relationship.

Ambassador Chapuis, I understand that you have quite a diverse background. Your time in Asia as a diplomat, as well as your work as an essayist and translator, helped to bridge gaps between nations and peoples. I know you will bring that same passion to Canada, where you will find many Canadians eager to speak with you about the rich and diverse relationship between our two nations.

Canada and France have an enduring relationship based on shared history and values, as well as the French language. We are also strengthening the economy and providing more opportunities in education, research and innovation. I was honoured to speak with President Hollande about these and other matters during his visit to Canada last November, and I look forward to continuing the discussion with you. 

Together, all of you joining us here today make up a special diplomatic community in this country, one that I invite you to participate in fully. Once again, to all of you and your families, welcome to Canada!

Thank you.