The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Friends of Canada Reception (Los Angeles, California)

Los Angeles, California, Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Thank you for welcoming me so warmly. What a pleasure it is to meet with so many friends of Canada here in Los Angeles.

This truly is a remarkable city. I’m honoured to be the first governor general of Canada to visit the west coast of the United States. I’m here to meet with business, academic and philanthropic leaders, government representatives and innovators.

I am delighted to meet with you so close to the outset of my visit. Each of you is a friend of Canada, who understands the importance of the Canada-U.S. relationship and the many opportunities that exist in southern California. 

Los Angeles is one of the world’s great meeting places, where people come together with one overriding sense: opportunity. Business, culture, politics and learning—all occur with a heightened sense of possibility on this great stage.

That is why it is so important for Canada to have an energetic and expanded presence here—and indeed, it is why so many Canadians are here already.

Weather may also be a factor, but weather alone is not enough!

I would like to thank Mr. James Villeneuve, the Consul General of Canada, for being the invaluable point of contact for so many, and for hosting this reception.

The staff of this consulate work hard to connect Canadians and Americans so they can pursue opportunities together.

I want to extend a special thank you to each of you, the friends and partners of Canada, who form the networks and people-to-people ties that are so essential to success.

Ultimately, our relationship is all about people and the relationships we form.

The scientific and intellectual relationship between Canada and the United States is unrivalled. In fact, I think it no coincidence that our two countries enjoy one of the strongest bilateral relationships in the world, with countless good things flowing from it.

Our trading relationship, for example, is the largest in the world: reaching $734 billion (USD) in 2013. One in seven Canadian jobs depends on trade with the US, while more than eight million American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada.  

Over the years, our shared commitment to learning and discovery has also been a constant, and it has helped to show us the way on broader issues. Close to 30 000 Canadians study in U.S. universities, and the U.S. is the fifth-largest contributor of foreign students to Canada.

An estimated one million Canadians live and work in California. The bilateral relationship between this state and Canada in particular is a model for the rest of the country.

In so many areas, Canadians and Californians are working closely together. We’re collaborating in learning, innovation, culture, finance, energy and the environment, foreign policy, and security and defence.

California is a leader in many of these areas, and all are spheres in which Canadians are making strong contributions.

Canadians and Californians have long been partners on this continent, and the opportunities for partnership and co-operation are many.

There is also no doubt that, given the complex, interrelated challenges we face, we must find ways to innovate and adapt together.

In this the people of California and Canada can help each other. We will no doubt be stronger working together than alone.

Together, we can build smarter, more caring and prosperous societies. As we do so, let us strive to balance equality of opportunity with excellence.

On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to thank you for being here and for being part of the friendship between Canada and California.

Have a wonderful evening.