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 (Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Republic of Niger, Principality of Andorra)

Rideau Hall, Thursday, April 28, 2016


We have a long history of diplomacy in Canada, one that began with the series of treaties and alliances signed by European newcomers and indigenous peoples.

In fact, we have a saying in Canada that refers to this tradition of negotiation and diplomacy: we are all Treaty people.

At its best, diplomacy brings people together. It bridges differences. It builds on the strengths of all involved.

That’s the kind of diplomacy Canada seeks to engage in with Guyana, Niger and Andorra.

Let’s call it diplomacy for a smarter, more caring world!

High Commissioner Riehl, I warmly welcome you to Canada. You have an impressive background in the armed forces, in law, and as a leader on women’s issues. As commander-in-chief, as a lawyer and as the father of five daughters, I hold each of these areas close to my heart, and I’m certain the breadth of your experience will serve you well during your time in Canada. I also understand you’re a great reader, and I encourage you to visit our library of governor general’s Award-winning books here at Rideau Hall. It represents the very best of Canadian literature!

This year marks a wonderful milestone for Canada and Guyana: 50 years of diplomatic relations. This coincides with a half-century of independence for Guyana, so let me take this opportunity to extend congratulations on behalf of all Canadians.

Our two countries enjoy friendly relations and significant commercial, security and development co-operation. Canada looks forward to continuing to work together on common priorities with Guyana through CARICOM and other multilateral forums such as the Commonwealth.

Ambassador Alidou, it gives me great pleasure to extend greetings to you as the representative of the Republic of Niger. You have held a number of important leadership positions throughout your career, particularly in the realm of education—a priority of mine throughout my life and as governor general. I note your personal connection to École Canada in Niamey, and I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the education ties that exist between Canada and Niger. I wish you well with your new assignment.

Canada and Niger cooperate through a number of multilateral forums including the Francophonie and the United Nations. We look forward continuing to work together on security issues and other common priorities. We have much to gain from our continued partnership.

Ambassador Vives Balmaña, what a pleasure to welcome you to Canada. You have had a varied and interesting diplomatic career and academic life, and this can only enhance your ability to excel in your new role. You have also worked as a teacher in the past. It is a noble profession, and as I said in my installation address as governor general, “We must cherish our teachers.” I look forward to your contribution to strengthening relations between Canada and Andorra, and I wish you the very best with your new posting.

Canada and Andorra have a partnership based on common principles and collaboration. We work together through multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the Francophonie. Canada is also honoured to know that Andorra is interested in learning more about Quebec’s education model, and we look forward to continuing to work together on climate change issues, democracy and human rights. The future looks bright for the Canadian-Andorran partnership. 

In closing, let me say once again to each of you: congratulations on your new responsibilities. I thank you for working closely with Canada, and I want you to know you are very welcome here.

I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you.