Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

November 25, 2014 08:53 ET

Governor General to Undertake State Visits to Chile and Colombia

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 25, 2014) - At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will conduct State visits to the Republic of Chile, from November 29 to December 3; and the Republic of Colombia, from December 3 to 6, 2014.

"Sharon and I are looking forward to conducting State visits to Chile and Colombia," said
His Excellency. "Joined by a Canadian delegation, we will focus on further strengthening our relationships with both countries and deepening our well-established partnerships with our counterparts in the fields of education, innovation and trade. Chile and Colombia are priority partners for Canada. Throughout these visits, we will highlight important areas of co-operation where we share common principles and values with our key partners in the Americas: good governance, transparency and accountability, as well as rule of law and corporate social responsibility. In Colombia, we will also be demonstrating Canada's commitment to our ongoing peace-building and humanitarian work with respect to human rights, health and rural economic development. On a more personal note, Sharon and I have a deep affection for Colombia as two of our beautiful 11 grandchildren were adopted from this country."

State Visit to Chile - November 29 to December 3

In the capital city of Santiago, Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, President of the Republic of Chile, and will participate in the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Monument to Bernardo O'Higgins, a founding father of Chile. The Governor General will meet with the presidents of the Chilean Supreme Court and the Chamber of Deputies. As a symbol of friendship, he will be awarded the keys to the city and the title of "Illustrious Guest" by the Mayor of Santiago.

The Governor General will participate in a discussion on fostering entrepreneurship and innovation at the Innovation Center UC - Anacleto Angelini and deliver a keynote address on education at the Pontificia Universidad Católica. He will also meet with public and private sector leaders to discuss strategies for promoting innovation.

Her Excellency's program will focus on the work being done by non-governmental organizations in the region. Supported by the Government of Canada, these groups are working in areas to support the Chilean government's social inclusion agenda. At Fondacio, Her Excellency will meet with people who have physical and mental disabilities, and who are receiving occupational and horticultural therapy to better their lives. She will also attend the launch of In Maipú, It Gets Better, a program that provides local schools with tools to promote and implement a safe environment for sexual diversity.

State Visit to Colombia - December 3 to 6

Upon their arrival in Bogotá, Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, President of the Republic of Colombia. They will inaugurate the new LaSalle College campus and will also attend the launch of three Canadian rural development initiatives to help small-scale farmers in Colombia strengthen their co-operatives, increase their production and facilitate their access to financing and new markets. In addition, Their Excellencies will acknowledge Canada's support of the peace process with a visit to the Centre for Memory, Peace and Reconciliation. There, they will meet with key Colombian leaders involved in peace and reconciliation, and they will plant a tree as a symbol of peace.

In Medellín, the Governor General will witness the benefits of e-training between Canada and Colombia during a visit to Ruta-N, a corporation created to promote the development of innovative technology-based businesses. At the Faculty of Mines of the National University of Antioquia, he will deliver a keynote address on sustainable natural resource extraction and corporate social responsibility, and hear testimonials from local miners who have transitioned from illegal mining to formal mining.

Her Excellency will visit the rehabilitation ward at Handicap International, where she will meet with patients who have survived landmine accidents and learn about Canada's role as a lead donor in mine action in Colombia since 2003. She will also witness how the YMCA of Greater Toronto has been working with ACJ-YMCA Medellín to promote health, basic education and skills development for the youth of Comuna 13, an unplanned settlement in west Medellín.

Their Excellencies will conclude their State visit to Colombia in the community of Granizal-Bello, one of the largest informal urban settlements in the country. As they visit Casa de los Derechos and Fundación Cometa, they will learn how Canada-an important contributor to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees- is supporting the Government of Colombia's efforts to provide social protection services to internally displaced persons.

Members of the public can follow the Governor General's State visits to Chile and Colombia online at, where speeches, photos and videos will be posted.

This itinerary is subject to change without notice.

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