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 (San Francisco, California)

San Francisco, California, Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thank you for welcoming me so warmly. And thank you, Lieutenant-Governor Newsom, for this wonderful  honour of the key to the city—my very first as governor general!

Although I suspect it will not be helpful if I lose my hotel room key, I think this key will symbolically help us to further open the doors of collaboration and friendship between our two countries.

What makes this even more special is to be in the presence of so many friends of Canada here in San Francisco.

This truly is a remarkable city.

San Francisco is renowned for its leadership in technology, research and development. The innovation ecosystem in this city is one of its strength, but certainly not the only one!

The diverse people and economics of San Francisco is why it is so important for Canadians to have an energetic and expanded presence here—and indeed, it is why so many Canadians are here already.

I would like to thank Ms. Cassie Doyle, the Consul General of Canada in San Francisco, for being the invaluable point of contact for so many, and for hosting this reception.

The staff of this consulate—great professionals all—work hard to connect Canadians to the numerous opportunities found within this city and elsewhere in the state.

And you bring Americans and people of other nationalities into contact with Canadians, helping to build the networks and people-to-people ties that are so essential to success.

Both our countries, after all, are intimately linked with peoples and cultures, as well as in politics and economics.

And Canada has so much more to offer. That is why I am here: to spread the message of Canada’s great potential to play an even larger role in San Francisco’s economy.

All of you here are part of Canada’s important friendship not just with this state but with the United States as a whole. It is with you our hope lies for continued opportunities to partner in unique and exciting ways.

In so many areas, Canadians and Californians are working closely together.  Our two-way trade reached $43.1 billion (US) in 2012. We are collaborating in areas of learning, innovation, culture, finance, energy—I could go on.

In every sphere, Canadians are making strong contributions.

And we are doing so because of several factors.

First, our own innovation ecosystem, which has allowed Canadians the opportunity to make discoveries, develop new ideas, and, on a number of occasions, change the way we see the world.

Second is the strength of our economy, our banking system, and our companies. One example—the cluster of businesses, particularly in the technological sector, in Waterloo, Ontario, where I last worked—shows how we are succeeding locally and globally.

Third is our education system, which is quickly becoming a great model of openness, quality, accessibility and affordability.

As we can see, Canada is both open and eager for increased trade and investment.

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.