Diversity is our greatest strength
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/08/2022 (275 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to host a special event with Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and even though the issue of Ukraine did come up, that was not the subject of the meeting.
Canada is an amazing country which, more than many, depends heavily on immigration and trade. The Government of Canada’s current foreign affairs priority must be what’s taking place in Ukraine today. Canada stands strong with Ukraine and its allies. We are doing whatever we can to ensure that Ukraine prevails over Russia.
Having said that, Minister Joly continues to be engaged with countries around the world. Our population is just over 37 million, yet our political and economic influence is significantly higher, as people and countries look to Canada as a stable, secure and healthy democracy. We are a trading nation — our commodities and so much more are in high demand worldwide — and we have a positive reputation with most nations in the world.
In fact, I suspect there are few countries in the world that have as many economic trade agreements. In fact, the first trade agreement made by the Trudeau government was with Ukraine in 2016 and that was only the beginning.
The point is, Canada has a very large footprint in the world and, because of our diversity and commitment to contribute, it is important that we are always reaching out and building bridges. I genuinely believe that diversity is what makes Canada what it is today and gives us incredible opportunities in the future.
When Minister Joly was in Winnipeg, we had the chance to share some thoughts about Ukraine but the event I hosted was with members of our Filipino-Canadian heritage community. The Philippines has been a major source of immigration to Canada for the past 20 years and our bilateral trade is steadily improving. Today the Filipino community is one million strong and nowhere is it larger on a per capita basis than here in Manitoba. Minister Joly was interested in hearing firsthand about several issues concerning the relationship between Canada and Philippines. Those present were pleased to hear of her interest.
Shortly after the event, Minister Joly and I visited the Punjabi pavilion at Folklorama, where we were treated to a fantastic program that included good food, a great show, some wonderful heritage displays and, of course, many fantastic people — further proof that our diversity is our greatest strength.
Winnipeg North constituency report
Kevin Lamoureux is the Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North.