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March 27, 2023

Canada, Romania share common goal to protect democracy and human rights

By H.E. PHILIPPE BEAULNE, Ambassador of Canada to Romania

“Today we celebrate Canadian Confederation which began with the Constitution Act of July 1, 1867.

Romania’s recorded history is longer than Canada’s but we can both date the modern era from the same period. Carol 1 of Romania proclaimed the first true, purely Romanian constitution on July 1, 1866.  Canada was built in large part by immigration. We are a multicultural and bilingual country.

Canada and Romania have shared a lot over the past 144 years. Romanian immigrants started to come to Canada at the end of the 19th century. Today, some 200,000 Canadians identify themselves as being of Romanian origin. Important Romanian communities can be found in Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver. A Romanian Consulate has just been opened in Vancouver.

Out of many notable representatives of the Romanian community in Canada, I would mention two. One is Mr. Corneliu Chisu, recently elected Member of the Canadian Parliament. The other is a champion who belongs to both Canada and Romania. He is a great sportsman and a model for young people. He is Lucian Bute.

Canada and Romania enjoy excellent relations. In July 2010 Minister for International Trade Peter van Loan was in Romania to discuss bilateral relations and the expected benefits of the Canada EU Trade Agreement, which is currently being negotiated. Mircea Geoana, President of the Senate, visited Canada in November last year. Theodor Baconschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs visited his Canadian counterpart in Ottawa this March, a few days before the elections were called in Canada. Members of Parliament from both countries and other prominent officials also exchanged visits in the last year.

Canada and Romania cooperate in multilateral organization such as UN, OSCE and la Francophonie. Our military forces participate together in operations in Afghanistan and Libya. Out common goal is the protection of democracy and human rights. As the personal representative of the Canadian Prime Minister for La Francophonie, I know I can count on good cooperation with my Romanian colleagues in order to achieve the objectives of la Francophonie.

Canadian Studies Centres are active in several university centres in Romania. Our youth mobility program allows young Romanians to go and discover Canada while working and studying there.

Our bilateral economic relations are good, but have potential for growth.  I wish to mention nuclear energy as an example. Canadian and Romanian firms worked closely to set up the Cernavoda nuclear plant. The two reactors, under Romanian management, are among the 25 most efficient in the world.

Today, we find many Canadian investors are active in Romania.  Prosperity in both countries can only increase when we keep procedures simple and have laws and regulations that encourage economic activity and investment. Transparency, predictability as well as due process in due time can only benefit all.

The Canadian government was re-elected in a general election a few weeks ago. One of its main objectives is economic stability and growth. Recently, our Minister of Finance, James Flaherty, said “The global recovery remains fragile. The World has to take some painful and extraordinary measures to repair the system that connects us all.”

Canada has suffered less from the crisis than many other countries and has enjoyed positive growth since 2009. Romania has recently recorded positive signs of recovery following difficult decisions. To quote again our Finance Minister, “never allow a temporary crisis to become a long-term problem.”

I look forward to continuing to work with our friends here in Romania to further improve and expand our bilateral relations in the coming year.

Happy Canada Day!”

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