Minister Cannon to Host Diplomatic Forum in British Columbia

(No. 299 - October 7, 2009 - 1:35 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that he will host Canada’s 12th annual Diplomatic Forum in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia, from October 6 to 10, 2009. The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport), will also attend and address the Forum.

Holding this year’s Forum in Vancouver and Whistler puts an advance spotlight on the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. This region reflects the diverse Canadian population and the country’s ties to other nations around the world. Through its network of missions abroad, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is leveraging the profile of the 2010 Winter Games through highly targeted activities to raise awareness about Canada and to showcase our expertise to key markets abroad. The department’s 2010 reasons to do business in Canada campaign and website allow Canada to actively reach out to global business and media to highlight Canada’s many advantages.

In his keynote speech on October 9, Minister Cannon will address the global economic and financial situation, and outline Canada’s foreign policy priorities and leadership initiatives on the international stage, including Canada’s Arctic interests.

"I look forward to the Forum as a chance to share perspectives on issues of importance to Canada and our international partners," said Minister Cannon. "Canada has a long tradition of working closely with its global partners, and the Forum enables us to build on our mutual understanding and cooperate on common interests."

"Our government is pursuing an aggressive trade agenda abroad," said Minister Day. "The Forum is an excellent venue to convey to our partners from around the world Canada’s willingness to keep trade and investment flowing."

"Hosting the Diplomatic Forum in Vancouver this year provides participants with a chance to share in the excitement for the 2010 Winter Games—Canada’s Games," said Minister of State Lunn. "Canada is ready and excited to welcome the world in 2010. This will be a unique opportunity for Canadians to celebrate our athletes, our culture and our heritage."

The Diplomatic Forum is an annual conference that brings together foreign and Commonwealth heads of diplomatic missions (ambassadors and high commissioners) accredited to Canada.

Event: Speeches by Minister of State Lunn and John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games on the federal government and the Vancouver Organizing Committee’s roles in the 2010 Games
Date: Friday, October 9, 2009
Time: 8 a.m. PDT
Location: Westin Bayshore Hotel, 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver

Event: Luncheon keynote address by Minister Day
Date: Friday, October 9, 2009
Time: Noon PDT
Location: Westin Bayshore Hotel, 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver

Event: Keynote address by Minister Cannon on Canada’s foreign policy priorities and objectives
Date: Friday, October 9, 2009
Time: 3 p.m. PDT
Location: Westin Bayshore Hotel, 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver

Media representatives wishing to attend must present themselves with credentials to the media registration desk in the hotel foyer to obtain a pass.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874