Protecting and Promoting Canada’s Interests and Values Around the World

May 12, 2013 - This coming week, federal government ministers will demonstrate Canada’s principled foreign policy in action in the Americas, Europe and Africa.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will travel to Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania from May 13 to 16 to strengthen bilateral relations, promote Canadian values and diversify Canada’s trade relations in the region. Each of these countries is home to fast-growing economies that represent opportunities for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Baird will meet with government officials as well as with representatives of Canadian and African businesses.

“Our government is focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Baird. “I look forward to visiting these high-growth countries to celebrate the opportunity and hope they represent, while also promoting Canadian values—including human rights for all.”

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, will travel to Kiruna, Sweden, for the May 15 meeting of ministers of the Arctic Council states. The meeting marks the start of Canada’s two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

“Canada is proud of the leadership the Arctic Council is taking on issues of importance for the people of the North,” said Minister Aglukkaq, who will be the first Inuk to chair the Council, the leading body for international cooperation in the Arctic region.

Minister Aglukkaq will also travel to Oulu and Helsinki, Finland, to meet with representatives of the local business community and Northern researchers, and to visit an institute for Sami language, education and culture. Minister Aglukkaq will end her international trip in Geneva, where she will participate in the World Health Assembly meeting.

The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today begins a seven-day, seven-country tour of Caribbean nations (from May 12 to 18), where she is meeting with key allies and partners as part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing efforts to deepen its engagement in the Americas. The minister will visit the Bahamas (May 12-13), St. Kitts and Nevis (May 14-15), Antigua and Barbuda (May 15), Dominica (May 15-16), Saint Lucia (May 16-17), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (May 17) and Grenada (May 17-18).

“Canada is helping countries in the region to build a more prosperous and integrated Caribbean community, one that is able to generate sustainable economic growth, enhance security and increase opportunities for its citizens,” said Minister Ablonczy.

During her visit, Minister Ablonczy will meet with leaders, government ministers and officials to discuss the economic and security situation in the Caribbean and to consider how to advance shared priorities. She will also use the tour as an opportunity to meet with representatives of the Caribbean and Canadian business communities to identify new opportunities to further strengthen private-sector ties between Canada and the region.

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