Governor General welcomed new heads of mission to Canada during a ceremony at Rideau Hall

December 7, 2021

OTTAWA, Ontario—Today, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, welcomed four new heads of mission to Canada during a formal presentation ceremony at Rideau Hall.

Upon their arrival in Canada, new heads of mission must present their letters of credence to the governor general before they can carry out their duties. Letters of credence are the official documents that accredit a diplomat as an ambassador or high commissioner to another country.

These types of ceremonies highlight the governor general’s important role in representing Canada, building bridges with other nations to achieve common goals, and fostering diversity and acceptance.

The following new heads of mission presented their credentials:

His Excellency Harsha Kumara Navaratne Weraduwa  
High Commissioner for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

His Excellency Alfredo Martínez Serrano
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain

His Excellency Ronen Pinchas Hoffman                                                                                                 
Ambassador of the State of Israel

His Excellency David Louis Cohen                                                                                                              
Ambassador of the United States of America

Quick facts:

  • A key responsibility of the governor general is to represent Canada at home and abroad.
  • The governor general must officially welcome to Canada both high commissioners from countries of which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is not the head of State and ambassadors before they can carry out their duties.
  • A high commissioner is a representative of a Commonwealth country.
  • An ambassador is a representative of a country that is not part of the Commonwealth.
  • Currently, there are more than 180 missions accredited to Canada.


Media information:
Rideau Hall Press Office

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