Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

April 19, 2012 14:18 ET

Governor General to Undertake Visits to Brazil, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 19, 2012) - -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 an official visit to the Federative Republic of Brazil, from April 22 to 28; a working visit to Barbados, on April 29 and 30; and a State visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, on May 1 and 2, 2012.

"Sharon and I are looking forward to conducting this official visit to Brazil to strengthen the good relationship between our two countries," said the Governor General. "Canada and Brazil are partners in a number of fields, including education, science and technology, innovation and commerce."

"I'm very honoured to lead a delegation of exceptional Canadians representing these key fields, as well as 30 university presidents who embody the best of Canada's excellence in education. The education leaders will, along with other Canadian stakeholders, represent Canada at the Conference of the Americas on International Education, (CAIE) in Rio de Janeiro. This international conference is an opportunity to showcase to the world the quality of Canada's public education system."

"We are also delighted to carry out visits to Barbados to promote stronger business, security and educational linkages, and to Trinidad and Tobago to mark its 50 years of independence and our corresponding 50 years of diplomatic relations with the country. The development and sharing of knowledge and the dialogue between nations-which I like to call the 'Diplomacy of Knowledge'-is essential to our collective well-being in a global and interconnected world. It can be achieved through the linkages between education, innovation and commerce, which are the driving themes of my visits to these three countries," said His Excellency.

His Excellency will be joined by the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs); the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario) (Brazil only); parliamentarians; and an accompanying delegation of Canadians who will enhance people-to-people ties with their Brazilian, Barbadian and Trinidadian counterparts. These exchanges will further develop the wide-ranging and multi-faceted relationship with Brazil, a major economic player and priority market for Canada, and will provide greater visibility for bilateral co-operation initiatives in various sectors, particularly in strategies promoting education and economic development in all three countries.

Official Visit to Brazil - April 22 to 28

In Brasília, Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by Her Excellency Dilma Vana Rousseff, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil. During his meetings with the President and other government officials, His Excellency will convey that Canada is a partner of choice for innovation, education and commerce, and especially for Brazil's Science Without Borders program. The Governor General and his delegation will discuss Canada's strengths and best practices in science and technology, innovation and education during meetings with members of Brazil's Council on Economic and Social Development, an advisory council to the Presidency. The Governor General will also deliver the opening address (via video conference) at the launch of the Canadian Digital Media Network Canada 3.0 Digital Media Forum, being held in Stratford, Ontario. Throughout his visit, the Governor General will also be meeting with representatives of both Canadian and Brazilian companies with an interest in the dynamic bilateral commercial relationship.

During his visit to Rio de Janeiro, the Governor General will highlight Canada's educational excellence at CAIE, which aims to promote an inter-American exchange space for leaders of higher education institutions, namely to discuss priority issues concerning the internationalization of higher education and its quality management. He will lead a delegation of university presidents of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and deliver the opening address on the 'Diplomacy of Knowledge' in front of hundreds of participants from over 30 countries and five continents. His Excellency will also meet with the Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro; deliver a keynote address on 'Canada in the 21st Century: A Trusted Partner in Brazil' at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica; participate in a business round table with local representatives of Canadian and foreign companies operating in Rio; and offer opening remarks at the AUCC Canada-Brazil University Presidents' Round Table.

In São Paulo, His Excellency will meet with the Governor of the State of São Paulo to underscore Canada's trade partnerships with Brazil. He will deliver a keynote address on 'Brazil-Canada Partnerships and Enhancing the Innovation Ecosystem' at the São Paulo Research Foundation. In addition, the Governor General will discuss how to further stimulate science and technology collaboration between both countries at the Canada-Brazil Innovation Nations Forum, and during a keynote address on 'Transferring University Research to the Private Sector to Create Innovative Communities' at the University of Campinas. The Governor General will also strengthen people-to-people ties with key Canadian companies operating in Brazil, and with Brazilian alumni from Canadian institutions during networking meetings.

Working Visit to Barbados - April 29 and 30

During his visit, His Excellency will meet with the Acting Governor-General and the Prime Minister of Barbados and discuss the long-standing trade, security and Commonwealth ties between the two countries. He will underline the growing educational linkages between Canada and the Caribbean during a visit to Bellairs Research Institute-McGill University's teaching and research facility- and during an keynote address at the Barbados Community College. During a networking luncheon with government officials and representatives from business and academic communities, the Governor General will discuss the close bilateral relationship between the two nations. The visit to Barbados will conclude with a meeting of government officials, private sector representatives, members of the Barbados Defence Force and other friends of Canada at The Historic Garrison, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

State Visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago - May 1 and 2

Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by the President and will also meet with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. During his meetings with government officials, the Governor General will underline 50 years of bilateral relations between the two countries and unveil a commemorative plaque to mark this milestone. Throughout the visit, His Excellency will also mark Trinidad and Tobago's 50 years of independence. He will meet with representatives of the Canadian private sector working in Trinidad and Tobago; address students, faculty and education experts from various learning institutions at the University of the West Indies; and lay a wreath in honour of Canadian servicemen killed in action during the Second World War.

Information about the accompanying delegation will be announced at a later date and will be made available online at

Visits abroad by a governor general play an important role in Canada's relations with other countries. They are a form of diplomatic contact, as they mark further developments in bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.

Members of the public can follow the official visit to the Federative Republic of Brazil, the working visit to Barbados and the State visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago online at, where speeches, photos and videos of the Governor General will be posted.

The detailed itinerary will be published at a later date.

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