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Holiday Greetings from Alice Wong:
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The following is a transcript:
On behalf of myself, and my husband Enoch, I would like to wish all of Richmond a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. In this holiday season, whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Al Hijra, or any other religious event, I wish you a very pleasant and joyous time! May your holiday festivities be occasions of great happiness for you and your family.
December 16, 2009 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Alice Wong, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Richmond, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, today announced federal support for two programs delivered by the United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society (S.U.C.C.E.S.S.). The programs will provide a variety of business, export, investing and advisory services to entrepreneurs in British Columbia.
“I’m pleased that our Government is committed to helping new Canadians succeed,” said Ms. Wong. “This important investment in S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will provide entrepreneurs with the resources and support to prosper, which in turn will create jobs and opportunities benefiting the entire province.”
With this investment, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will provide entrepreneurs with a variety of business, export and investment information through the Business Links and Gateway to Asia programs. The Business Links program helps new Canadian residents to prepare business plans and loan applications. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. also acts as a liaison between clients and local lending institutions by providing ongoing support and follow-up for business activities. The Gateway to Asia program is designed to benefit B.C.’s Asian community, leveraging personal and business connections to increase exports to Asia, while directing greater investments to western Canadian communities.
Federal funding of $412,000 under the Western Diversification Program (WDP) is being provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).
“I am very pleased that Western Economic Diversification Canada has provided funding to support S.U.C.C.E.S.S. in its efforts to promote Canadian exports, facilitate foreign investment opportunities from Asia, and help Canadian businesses compete in Asian markets,” said Tung Chan, CEO of S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is a multi-service provider delivering settlement, counselling, group, employment, business and economic development services, as well as engaging in advocacy for positive social change.
Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.
The Ministry of Finance is holding a series of pre-budget consultations. The cities will be announced in December and January. There is also an online consultation available. If you wish to participate in the online consultation, you can fill out the survey located at http://www.fin.gc.ca/prebudget-prebudgetaire/1-eng.asp.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, December 9, 2009—Today, Ms. Alice Wong, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced help for acupuncturists to increase their labour mobility across Canada.
“Our government has taken action to help make full labour mobility a reality,” said Ms. Wong. “We’re offering workers a wider range of opportunities, and giving employers a larger and richer pool of qualified candidates.”
The Government of Canada is investing $94,005 in the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia. This funding will help develop common skill sets, registration exams and educational expectations for acupuncturists. It will also enable freer movement for certified workers between the provinces and territories.
While the main focus of this project is to help Canadian-trained acupuncturists, full labour mobility will also apply to internationally trained workers once they are certified to work in Canada.
The Prime Minister and Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders endorsed revisions to the Agreement on Internal Trade in January 2009 to help facilitate labour mobility. The new provisions eliminate many internal trade barriers and enhance labour mobility in Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to helping Canadians work anywhere in the country without any additional training, examinations or assessments.
For more information on labour mobility, visit the following Web sites: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/labour_mobility/index.shtml or
The following is a speech by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, spoken in the National Assembly of Seoul, Korea, on December 7, 2009:
Esteemed Speaker of the National Assembly, esteemed Members of the National Assembly. Thank you for your kind introduction, Mr. Speaker. Please accept also my sincere gratitude for inviting me to speak before you today. It is indeed an honour to address this august chamber. And thank you to the Korean people for the warm hospitality you have shown Laureen and I during this, our first visit to your beautiful country.
Let me also acknowledge some of my colleagues who are with us today. First, Senator Yonah Kim-Martin. Senator Kim-Martin is the first Korean-Canadian to hold national public office in our country.
Also with us is my friend and caucus colleague Member of Parliament, Barry Devolin. Barry and his wife Ursula lived in your country for a few years. He taught English as a second language at the Busan University of Foreign Studies. Along with Senator Kim-Martin, he co-chairs the Canada-Korea Interparliamentary Association, and he keeps in close touch with Canada’s Korean community.
Also with us today, the Honourable Stockwell Day, the Honourable Gerry Ritz, the Honourable Michael Chong, Alice Wong, Andrew Saxton, Daryl Kramp, Bob Dechert and John Weston.
Esteemed Members, ladies and gentlemen, I am deeply honoured to be the first Canadian Prime Minister to address the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. This visit is indeed a historic opportunity to celebrate the deep friendship between Canada and Korea, a camaraderie rooted in our shared experiences and our common acceptance of enduring principles.
In the year to come, however, it will be about much more than our history. Because, as we are renewing the strong relations between our nations, we are also planning for the leadership role that Canada and Korea will play as hosts of the G20 Summits that will take place next year.
Frankly, it would be hard to overstate the importance of this work. The world is struggling to emerge from the worst recession in half a century. Economies are showing signs of stabilization, but this recovery is fragile. It is a recovery that wrong choices could quickly stall, or even reverse. The livelihoods of families all over the world hang in the balance.
Coming out of Pittsburgh, the world agreed that the G20 will serve as the world’s pre-eminent forum for economic cooperation. It is this group that has worked together to minimize the effects of global recession. The decisions coming from this group of nations – responsible for 85 per cent of the world’s GDP – are therefore of enormous consequence.
For Canada and Korea, this is a unique opportunity, and a unique responsibility. We must lead the way. We must build upon the work done in Washington, London and Pittsburgh. We must continue to focus attention on the global economy and ensure a balanced and sustainable recovery. Our work to achieve effective economic stimulus, prudent regulation of the global financial sector, reform of international financial institutions and open and expanding global trade must not waver. We must follow through on the commitments we have made. And we must avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.
And together, as President Lee and I co-chair the next round of discussions on these matters, we must draw from leaders a credible plan for exiting the nations of the world from the extraordinary measures of the past year and returning the global economy to a path of sustainable growth as the recovery takes hold.
In passing, I would observe that a failure to achieve this objective would have consequences beyond the purely economic: without the wealth that comes from growth, the environmental threats the developmental challenges and the peace and security issues facing the world will be exponentially more difficult to deal with.
My government and I look forward to continuing our close cooperation with our Korean colleagues as we prepare for the momentous year before us. Happily, our own two countries are well-positioned to meet the challenges facing the G20, and to improve our bilateral cooperation at the same time.
We are ideal partners. Let us speak of the Korean miracle, the roots of an old and true friendship, and what Canada and Korea have to offer one another.
Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed members, we stand in awe of what Korea has accomplished in less than six decades. During the last month, I have visited India, China and Singapore. All these countries have achieved extraordinary economic and social progress in the post-war era. Still, few have come farther than Korea.
Starting with a country devastated by decades of occupation and then shattered and divided by war, you have emerged as the world’s 15th largest economy, a technological and manufacturing powerhouse, a full-fledged partner in the great councils of the world, an important contributor to international security and prosperity and a positive example for the developing nations of the 21st century.
Your exceptional success has been called “the Miracle on the Han River.” But it is no miracle. It’s due to the resilience, determination and ingenuity of the orean people, and the intrinsic worth of the high principles you have embraced. Freedom. Democracy. Free Trade. Open Markets.
Today, as a result, Korea is one of the most internationally engaged of all Asian nations. One measure of this is Korea’s chairmanship of the G20 in 2010. As President Lee has said, you aspire to be, and I quote, “a global Korea.”
I spoke of old friendships, and shared values. They go back a long way, to when Canadian missionaries and educators were first drawn to this country, in the late nineteenth century. Visionaries such as James Scarth Gale. He opened the way to better understanding by assembling the first English-Korean dictionary, and producing the first translation of the Bible into the Korean language.
He was followed by pioneering physician and educator, Oliver Avison, one of the founders of Severance Hospital and Yonsei University. And, of course, there’s the great Dr. Frank Schofield. He went to Korea as a veterinary biologist. He became a powerful voice for freedom, democracy and human rights in Korea during the Japanese occupation. Indeed, he took up the cause of Korean independence with such passion that he is the only Westerner buried in the patriot’s section of your national cemetery. I will be paying my respects at his grave, later today.
But our most intense shared experiences began nearly 60 years ago, in what we call the Korean War, and you term the 6-2-5 War. The same brutal totalitarianism that imprisoned Eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain plunged your own country into another devastating war. Koreans were pitted against each other.
Only the courage of the government and people of the free Republic of Korea, backed by the United Nations force of which Canada was a part, saved the entire Korean peninsula from enslavement. Close to 27,000 Canadians served in the conflict; More than 500 were killed. And to this day, the Battle of Kap’yong to save Seoul is remembered in Canada as one of the most illustrious moments of our military history.
Canada and Korea have been staunch allies in the defence of freedom and democracy ever since. We are not a warlike people, but when the cause has been just and necessary, Canadians have always answered the call. There is no doubt the cause of Korean freedom was just and necessary. And, the truth of the ideals for which we fought has been revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt as this Republic has flourished, while the Communist North has floundered.
Your success as a nation serves as the greatest tribute you can show to the Canadians who fought and died here, and to the development assistance that Canadians contributed to Korean recovery and reconstruction. Which brings us to today.
In the decades since the War, Canada and Korea have grown ever closer. Tens of thousands of Koreans have immigrated to our country, found economic opportunity, and made enormous contributions to the communities they have joined. The estimated 200,000 Canadians of Korean descent tend to be highly educated, thriving in management and entrepreneurship.
They are also to be found in the worlds of popular entertainment and sport. For example, Sandra Oh, the daughter of Korean immigrants, grew up in Ottawa and has become one of our most successful international film and television actors. Hockey player Jim Paek was the first Korean to play in the National Hockey League, where he won two Stanley Cup Championships.
Meanwhile, tourist traffic between our countries is booming in both directions, as is the tradition of educational exchange. There are about 30,000 Koreans pursuing full time studies in Canada, and roughly 10,000 Canadians now live in Korea, the vast majority teaching English as a second language.
Esteemed Members, ladies and gentlemen, my visit here reflects Canada’s growing engagement with the nations of the Asia-Pacific. As economic power and human prosperity spread from West to East through globalization, Canada is strategically positioned to straddle both hemispheres. Our economy was built in the 19th and early 20th centuries largely on trans-Atlantic trade. But it is clear that in the 21st century, trans-Pacific trade will increasingly fuel our economic growth.
As these trends continue, it is also clear that Korea should be one of Canada’s most important partners in the region. Canada has the energy and minerals Korea needs to fuel future growth. Korea has a genius for manufacturing. Canada has a world-class financial services sector. Korean industry needs access to capital. And let’s not forget Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway ports are closer by days in connecting the main markets of North America and Asia than those further south.
Ship to Vancouver. Ship to Prince Rupert. Canada is open for business.
Frankly, it would be hard to find two countries better suited to each other as trading partners. Which suggests there is more, much more, that we could do together. No doubt there are particular obstacles. But our job, as democratically-elected national legislators, is to consider the bigger picture, to also represent the broader interests of all our people.
It is for all these reasons – our natural trade advantages, our commitment to economic principles that work and our old and true friendship – that we should expand our horizons. We can be the model for bringing the economies of the East and the West together. In other words, we can lead in the quest for a more balanced world, a more equitable world, and a more prosperous world for all. When would be a better time?
The invisible hand of the marketplace is already pointing the direction we need to go. Your energy sector is investing in our oilsands. Our combined know-how in carbon capture and storage technology is reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Your electronics manufacturers have millions of Canadian customers. Our agricultural producers are providing Koreans with safe, high-quality food. And thanks to our Blue Sky Agreement Korean and Canadian airlines have new flexibility to offer more services and conveniences to travelers and shippers.
With all these economic ties, it only makes sense that our two countries work to conclude our free trade negotiations so we can grow our mutual trade and investment for the future.
Ladies and gentlemen, when the global economy is ready for another round of growth, we owe it to ourselves to be ready to take advantage of it. In preparation for that day, let us join hands in an historic year of G20 leadership and move forward. I have great confidence that 2010 is going to be the year that Canada and Korea achieve unprecedented levels of co-operation and friendship.
We are already allies in the United Nations mission to secure and rebuild Afghanistan, and in the larger struggle against international terrorism. We will also continue to stand together against the anachronistic dictatorship in the North. Canadians have great compassion for the people of North Korea, and we are eager to see the day of their freedom and their reunion with their brothers and sisters of the South.
In conclusion, I look forward to welcoming President Lee to Canada for our G20 Summit in Toronto next June. And I further look forward to returning to Korea a year from now for the G20 meeting here. Finally, we look forward to hosting all of you at the Vancouver and Whistler Winter Olympics. With the Games less than three months away, excitement is building across Canada and around the world. We Canadians are feeling very positive about our medal prospects, but we know we’re going to face tough competition from Korea’s team – especially your outstanding speed skaters and your women’s figure skating champion, Kim Youna, whom we know very well because she trains in Toronto.
We all have much to look forward to. We must just remember that much is expected from those whom fortune and a generous providence have endowed. We – our countries – have important work to do. Thank you once again for the opportunity to address your National Assembly.
The following is a transcript of a speech made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, December 4, 2009, Shanghai, China:
Thank you, Stock, for your kind words of introduction. The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture. Members of the Parliament of Canada: the Honourable Michael Chong, Alice Wong, Andrew Saxton, John Weston, Bob Dechert and Darrell Kramp. Ambassadors Lan and Mulroney.
First of all, thanks to Mark Rowswell, our Master of Ceremonies for starting us off this evening. Mark is Canada’s Commissioner General for Expo 2010 here in Shanghai. I look forward to touring the Canadian Pavilion with you tomorrow, Dashan.
And a special thanks to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the Canada-China Business Council for co-hosting this evening’s event. It is indeed an honour to have been invited to speak before the group assembled this evening. And it is also indeed timely as we mark the one hundredth anniversary of the launch of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service in this city. As evidence of the success of this venture, I would note that Shanghai is now the base of operations for some 150 Canadian companies, many of which are represented here tonight.
And Shanghai boasts plenty of other superlatives: it is the largest city in China, the country’s economic engine, one of the fastest-growing places on earth and home to the world’s busiest cargo port. I have no doubt that next year, as Shanghai hosts the Expo, tens of millions of visitors will be treated to the best your world-class city has to offer.
Of course, Shanghai is but one stop on this, my first visit to China as Prime Minister. And it is yet another step, in the hundreds of meetings between officials – some 20 ministerial-level visits to this country – and numerous meetings I have held with President Hu Jintao at various international fora since our government took office in 2006.
My visit therefore reflects Canada’s commitment to enhancing and expanding our relations with China. For ours is a good and frank relationship based on mutual respect and the need for cooperation in today’s challenging world.
Ladies and gentlemen. Long ago, pointing to China on a map, Napoleon Bonaparte is famously said to have mused: “…there lies a sleeping giant. When she wakes, she will shake the world.” How prophetic those words have proven to be.
In the last three decades, since making the first tentative moves toward liberalization, China has been witness to the greatest surge in general prosperity in the history of mankind. More than four hundred million people have been lifted out of poverty. Over one hundred cities have grown to a population of more than a million. The economy, once directed entirely by the state, has become firmly market-oriented, and private enterprise has flourished. In fact, in the last thirty years, over five hundred-thousand foreign-funded businesses have registered in China.
I could go on, but the bottom line is this: there can be no mistaking the evidence. Today, ladies and gentlemen, China is truly awake – awake, and set to help shape the future of the entire world!
Canada has observed China’s remarkable rise over the course of a longstanding relationship. In the mid-nineteenth century, Chinese labourers were integral to the most important nation-building exercise in Canadian history – the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. And over the last hundred years some one million Chinese have immigrated to Canada.
Today, Chinese-Canadians enrich all aspects of our society, our democracy and our economy. For example, in Toronto, Chinese-Canadians, along with a large body of students and researchers from China, have helped to make our largest city a centre whose impact is felt throughout the world. And Vancouver has now become not just Canada’s, but North America’s gateway for Asia-Pacific trade – in significant part because of the enterprise of so many Chinese-Canadians. Indeed, through a solid work ethic, a dedication to family and community and a commitment to educational achievement, Chinese-Canadians are helping to secure Canada’s place in the 21st century.
In turn, Canada has contributed to China’s story. Canadian missionaries built hospitals and schools in China during the late 1800s. And a Canadian doctor, Norman Bethune, played a significant role in the history of this country. Canadian companies like Manulife and Sunlife pioneered economic networks throughout China more than one hundred years ago. Home-grown enterprises like Bombardier and SNC-Lavalin have been thriving here for decades. And, despite the significant tensions of the Cold War, Canada first negotiated contracts for the sale of wheat to China as far back as the government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. More recently, the strong ties between our countries allowed Canada to offer, following the earthquake last year, both significant public and private aid to the people in Sichuan province.
Ladies and gentlemen, even in these few examples, we see there is much shared history between Canada and China, history that has helped to shape both our countries. So it is not surprising that as China has opened up our economic ties have become extensive and expanding. Since 2005 alone, two-way merchandise trade between our countries has grown steadily each year by an average of more than 14 per cent. During this period, Canadian exports to China have grown by more than 3 billion dollars. Our total two-way trade is now valued at over 53 billion dollars. China is Canada’s second largest merchandise trading partner and our third largest export market.
To help continue growing this relationship, our government has recently dedicated over a billion dollars into trade infrastructure on our Pacific coast. What we call the Asia-Pacific Gateway is an integrated system of ports, airports, road and rail connections that link Asia deep into the heart of the North American marketplace. In fact, the west coast ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert are two and three days closer than their American competitors to key Asian ports like Shanghai.
Canada is also increasingly being seen by Chinese business leaders as a natural destination for investment. We are one of the best-positioned among the developed economies for a strong recovery. We have falling tax rates, a low debt-to-GDP ratio, one of the most welcoming environments for foreign investment in the world and the resources necessary to meet China’s ever-growing needs.
One area where Canada and China share mutually beneficial objectives is, of course, in the field of energy. Because there can be no mistake, to continue fueling its growth into the future China will need stable sources of power. And Canada is an emerging energy superpower, a major supplier of every type of energy, seventh in the world in crude oil producer – with the second largest proven reserves – third in natural gas production and the largest producer of uranium. Canada also has the resources and know-how necessary to adapt technology to a cleaner, greener, less carbon-intensive energy future.
Having recently overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, China has a vital interest in getting these technologies up and running. Indeed, this is an area where Canada and China are already working together, through the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.
Today, I am pleased to announce Canada’s second-round funding under this partnership. With the second phase of projects, Canada will have invested in twenty-eight clean technology projects worldwide, including fourteen new projects in or of benefit to China.
And yesterday, in the Great Hall of the People, Premier Wen and I witnessed the signing of an agreement to enhance cooperation between our two countries in combating climate change. Under the agreement, Canada and China will work together in areas such as energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and methane recovery and utilization.
Ladies and gentlemen, through collaborations like these, Canada and China can demonstrate how to balance energy development and economic growth with environmental protection and can serve as an example of cooperation for the rest of the world.
We are also pleased that the Government of China has granted Canada Approved Destination Status. This is a measure that Canadian Governments have been seeking for over a decade. A measure that could generate up to a 50 per cent boost in tourism, and that is especially timely. As Canada prepares to welcome the world to Vancouver for the Winter Olympic Games, this new designation will encourage more Chinese tourists to discover all Canada has to offer.
And finally, Premier Wen and I were pleased yesterday also to witness the signing of an agreement to promote cultural cooperation between China and Canada, including the exchange of works of art, performing artists and writers. This agreement will create economic opportunity for the Canadian cultural sector and showcase Canadian culture in China. It is another instance of our two countries leading by example and working together for mutual benefit.
Of course, ladies and gentlemen, the biggest challenge facing both our countries – indeed facing all the world’s major economies – continues to be the global economic downturn. Our economies have held up well compared to the rest of the world. This was not, of course, by accident. Both Canada and China entered this period with strong government balance sheets, stable financial sectors and large, ongoing investments in critical infrastructure.
And both Canada and China have been strong contributors to the collective efforts of the G20 to foster a genuine, global recovery. We participated early in coordinated, international interest-rate reductions. And both our countries have engaged in the sizeable fiscal stimulus measures called for by the IMF and other global bodies. I look forward to welcoming President Hu to Canada next year when we host the next meeting of the G20.
Now more than ever, as tentative signs of recovery are emerging, Canada and China will need to keep our voices strong and united at the G20 table. The message we must impart during this critical period will be three-fold: first, we must urge fellow members to follow through on committed stimulus. Second, we must develop exit strategies to avoid inflation and asset bubbles. And third, perhaps most important, we must insist that all leaders stand firm against protectionist pressures.
We have seen movement toward protectionism, albeit modest, since this global recession began. But modest or otherwise, protectionism is the single greatest threat to long-term recovery for Canada, for China and for the entire world economy.
That’s why fighting protectionism and expanding trade have been top priorities of our government’s foreign policy. That’s why since taking office, we have aggressively pursued trade negotiations around the world, concluding agreements with eight countries, and launching discussions with numerous others.
The reason for this is simple: notwithstanding our current economic difficulties, the prosperity generated here in China and around the world in the past generation has been unprecedented. Removing protectionist barriers and easing trade restrictions have been key to ushering in this extraordinary era. Pursuing freer trade, therefore, is the most effective antidote we have to the current crisis. We welcome China’s decision to lift restrictions on Canadian pork, but ill-considered protectionist measures – like restrictions on canola imports – can only lead to increased pressures for retaliation and protectionism.
Now more than ever our two countries must work together to keep trade flowing. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that, in cooperation with the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the Government of Canada is today launching four new trade offices in China. These offices are in addition to the two International Trade Minister Day launched in April. Together, they will enhance our ability to support even more commercial links in exports, investment and innovation between our two countries. This announcement is another concrete step our government is taking toward enhancing and expanding our economic ties with China.
As economic power and human prosperity spreads from West to East, Canada’s trade orientation is shifting also. In the 19th and 20th centuries, our economy was built largely on trans-Atlantic trade. But it is clear that in the 21st century, trans-Pacific trade will increasingly fuel our economic growth.
But ladies and gentlemen, just as trade is a two-way street, so too is dialogue. Our government believes, and has always believed, that a mutually beneficial economic relationship is not incompatible with a good and frank dialogue on fundamental values like freedom, human rights and the rule of law. In fact, in our experience they go hand in hand, increasingly so, as economies progress. Canada, while far from perfect, is one of the most peaceful, pluralistic and prosperous democracies the world has ever known. To Canadians, these attributes are inseparable, and Canadians of Chinese origin participate as fully in them as any of our citizens.
And so, in relations between China and Canada, we will continue to raise issues of freedom and human rights, and be a vocal advocate and an effective partner for human rights reform, just as we pursue the mutually beneficial economic relationship desired by both our countries.
Ladies and gentlemen, as the centre of gravity of the world economy swings toward the Pacific, Pacific nations like Canada and China have much to gain by increased cooperation. Now is the time to enhance and expand our relationship, to build upon our mutual successes and to use the authority those successes have afforded us to set an example for others in the world.
I will conclude tonight, with an invitation to all Chinese. We are anxious to return your Olympic hospitality. Come and visit Canada next year as we host the twenty-first Winter Olympic Games. Come and enjoy Vancouver, famously rated the world’s most liveable city. And come to Canada, and see for yourself the possibilities and the potential.
Thank you again for the invitation to speak this evening, and for your warm hospitality here in Shanghai.
Released on December 2, 2009, the fourth report of the Economic Action Plan is available here. Richmond has benefited, as well as all other areas of the country, from this.
RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA, December 1, 2009 — Alice Wong, Member of Parliament for Richmond, will be accompanying Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his first official visit to China, scheduled to begin on December 2. Ms. Wong is one of two MPs having ethnic Chinese descent who have been invited to join the China delegation, the other being Michael Chong, MP for Wellington-Halton Hills in Ontario. In light of the fact that Canada has 1.2 million people of Chinese origin, it is fitting that Ms. Wong is a participant in this visit.
The Prime Minister will be making stops in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Official meetings will be held with President Hu Jintao, National People’s Congress chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao. There will also be a number of meetings scheduled with key business leaders.
The purpose of the trip is primarily relationship building, capping off a steady progression of high level visits to China in recent years.