Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

October 16, 2014 11:15 ET

Governor General to Undertake Visit to Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 16, 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 a State visit to the Republic of Poland, from October 22 to 26; a visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands on October 26 and 27; and a visit to the Kingdom of Belgium, from October 27 to 29, 2014.

"Remembering the past, Sharon and I will take pride in paying tribute to our fallen soldiers of both World Wars and in honouring the memories of the victims in all the countries we will be visiting," said His Excellency. "But, also looking ahead, it will be a great opportunity to engage with government representatives, business leaders, innovators, academic influencers and researchers to share knowledge and expertise on the themes of innovation, trade and education."

His Excellency will be joined by parliamentarians and an accompanying delegation of Canadians who will enhance business, academic and people-to-people ties with their European counterparts. These exchanges will further develop the wide-ranging and multi-faceted relationship with Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium-all important economic partners for Canada, particularly with the recent finalization of negotiations on the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)-and will provide greater impetus to foster bilateral initiatives in various sectors, especially in strategies promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and education.

Visits abroad by a governor general play an important role in Canada's relations with other countries. They are highly valuable as they help broaden bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.

State Visit to Poland - Warsaw and Krakow (October 22 to 26)

In Poland, the Governor General will be officially welcomed by President Bronislaw Komorowski, during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace. Following a tête-à-tête and an expanded meeting with Canadian delegates and their Polish counterparts, the Governor General and the President will deliver statements to the media.

Throughout his visit, His Excellency will take part in discussions with political and business leaders to reinforce Canada's reputation as a strong and reliable partner. The discussions will also seek to build awareness of CETA and the new opportunities it will create to further trade and investment flows between our two countries, and to emphasize innovation co-operation as a key driver in our bilateral relations, particularly in the energy sector, where Canada can play an important role in Poland's energy security.

Their Excellencies will also lay wreaths at important cemeteries and memorials to acknowledge Canada's role in many key historic events being commemorated this year, notably the
70th anniversary of the battles of Monte Cassino and Normandy, the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, as well as the
15th anniversary of Poland's membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Accompanied by Her Excellency Anna Komorowska, the First Lady of Poland, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston will visit Polish non-governmental organizations promoting social innovation and will honour the accomplishments of artistically gifted students.

The Governor General will also meet with deans, rectors, professors and Polish students of the Warsaw School of Economics, the AGH University of Science and Technology and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, to promote Canada as a preferred destination for study, research and innovation.

Visit to the Netherlands - The Hague, Bergen-op-Zoom (October 26 and 27)

During their visit to the Netherlands, Their Excellencies will participate in the inaugural ceremony of the Canadian Day of Memory in Bergen-op-Zoom to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Scheldt and the beginning of the Liberation of the Netherlands, and to highlight Canada's contribution to freeing the country.

Her Excellency will visit an urban farming project inspired by similar Canadian projects. She will talk with some of the participants and discuss how the project affects their day-to-day lives.

The Governor General will take part in a round-table discussion on Innovation as the Cornerstone for Canada-Netherlands Relations, to strengthen trade and investment ties with the Netherlands and to highlight the importance of the CETA as the beginning of a new era for Canada-Netherlands commercial relationship.

Their Excellencies will meet with His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands to highlight our thriving bilateral relationship, one that is warm and steeped in history.

Visit to Belgium - Brussels, Adegem, Passchendaele, Zonnebeke, Nieupoort,Ypres, Leuven (October 27 to 29)

Finally, in Belgium, Their Excellencies and the Canadian delegates will take part in a dinner being held in their honour by Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Kingdom of Belgium.

Their Excellencies will participate in a national commemoration ceremony hosted by His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I and the First Battle of Ypres. As the highest-ranking representative of the Commonwealth in attendance, the Governor General will deliver remarks on this occasion.

Leading up to this very special event, Their Excellencies will visit memorial and historic sites, namely the Canadian War Cemetery of Adegem, the Passchendaele Canadian Memorial and Museum, and the John McCrae site in Ypres. They will have the chance to meet with key actors and keepers of these fascinating sites of historical significance to both Canadians and Belgians.

The Governor General will have the opportunity to address the business community during the launch of the European tour of the Global Business Leaders Series, which begins with a Canada-Belgium business forum. He will also deliver a keynote address during a luncheon with representatives of the Canadian and Belgian business communities at the historic Palais d'Egmont. On these occasions, His Excellency will emphasize Canada's advantages as an investment and business destination and attractive partner, and raise awareness of the new possibilities that CETA will create for Canada and Belgium.

The Governor General will also take part in a discussion on research and development co-operation with officials from imec (formerly the Interuniversity Microelectronics Center) at KU Leuven (Catholic university of Leuven), with the objective of deepening academic connections between leading institutions in our two countries.

Members of the public can follow the Governor General's visits to Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium online at www.gg.ca, where speeches and photos will be posted.

The detailed itinerary and a list of accompanying delegates will be published at a later date.

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