Today, Canadians and friends of Canada from all over the world celebrate our country’s 148th anniversary!
Canada is known around the world as a strong and free country, imbued with a long history of stability, peace and prosperity. We work with our partners to advance the values and ideals that include a pluralistic civil society respecting fundamental freedoms, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Our country was built by immigrants from all corners of the world, including 200,000 from Romania at present, creating a diverse and tolerant society, with roots that extend beyond Canada’s borders.
When crises erupted in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq, Canada supported its friends and Allies, offered diplomatic solutions, and provided humanitarian assistance to those in need.
Canada continues to lead the world in efforts to improve the health of mothers, newborns and children in developing countries by pledging an additional $3.5 billion over five years.
When women and children suffer in conflict zones, Canada works through the UN and non-governmental organization partners to offer support. This year, an additional $5.5 million was set aside to fight sexual and gender-based violence.
Also this year, we marked a new milestone for La Francophonie, when former governor general of Canada Michaëlle Jean was chosen to be the first woman to head the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), thanks to the strong support of a number of OIF Member States, including Romania.
Canada and Romania enjoy strong political ties, having rich, diverse and expanding bilateral relations. They also enjoy an excellent cooperation in multilateral fora, such as NATO, the OSCE, the United Nations and La Francophonie.
The crisis in Ukraine has reminded us of the importance of our close partnership with NATO Allies and EU members such as Romania.
Canada is among the strongest international supporters of Ukraine’s efforts to restore stability and implement democratic and economic reforms. Since the beginning of the crisis in January 2014, Canada has announced over $684 million in development, security, financial and humanitarian assistance to help Ukraine implement essential reforms and achieve long-term stability, security and prosperity. Together with our Allies and partners, such as Romania, Canada will continue to speak out with a unified voice in support of the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people—and against those who wish to illegally redraw the borders of Europe.
Romania is a key NATO Ally and EU partner in South Eastern Europe. As part of NATO’s Assurance Measures to Central and Eastern Europe, Canada joined Romania and other NATO Allies in a series of training exercises to reinforce the Alliance’s collective defence. The deployment of six Canadian CF-18 jets to Campia Turzii in June of last year was followed by Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship TORONTO and FREDERICTON visits to Constanta in September 2014 and March 2015, and by the recent NATO multinational land forces exercise “SARMIS” in Cincu.
In less than one year, we saw the three main elements of the Canadian Armed Forces –Air Force, Navy and Army—deployed on Romanian soil, a first in our bilateral relationship. These joint training exercises significantly contributed to the reinforcement of the cooperation between our Armed Forces and readiness within NATO, marking an important chapter in the long and fruitful partnership between our two nations. They also reflect the importance that Canada attaches to its relationship with Romania and security in the region.
Trade and investment between our two countries have reached a record high in 2014 with the greatest value of merchandise exchanges over the past ten years, and I hope to see an even greater upward trend in the future, boosted by the historic Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). There are many Canadian companies doing business in Romania. When Canadian businesses succeed abroad, they create jobs and prosperity for Canadians and for people around the world. We share the conviction with Romania that freer trade will bring even more economic opportunities and will have a positive impact on the pace of our bilateral relations.
All these facets are a testimony to the very high quality of our bilateral relations. It is my firm belief that in the coming years, the cooperation between our countries will continue to improve and expand, to the mutual benefit of our people!
Happy Canada Day!
Bonne Fête du Canada!
La mulţi ani, Canada!