Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

October 23, 2014 08:42 ET

Statement by the Governor General of Canada in Warsaw, Poland, in the Presence of President Komorowski

WARSAW, POLAND--(Marketwired - Oct. 23, 2014) -

I am very pleased to be here in Warsaw today.

Allow me to begin by addressing yesterday's events in Ottawa.

For all Canadians, the violent acts carried out in our capital yesterday were deeply shocking and saddening. My wife, Sharon, and I share this profound sense of sadness. We offer our deepest sympathies to the family of Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Canadian Armed Forces, who was killed, and our hearts go out to those who were wounded.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the first responders and security personnel who acted with such professionalism. Their courageous efforts at such a time are a great comfort and inspiration to us all.

The investigation into yesterday's attacks remains ongoing, and I am confident that our country will act with firm resolve and in keeping with the values that we hold dear.

Let me again repeat how important this visit to Poland is to us.

This truly is an historic moment, marking the first official visit to Poland by a Canadian Governor General, as well as the opening of a new chapter in the relationship between our two countries.

On behalf of all Canadians, let me begin by extending greetings and best wishes to the people of Poland.

I would also like to express my sincere thanks to my host, President Bronislaw Komorowski, for inviting my wife Sharon and me to visit Poland. We are fortunate to be accompanied by a talented delegation of Canadians who are eager to meet people from all walks of Polish society.

Already I have been struck by the positive attitude of the people of this country, including the President and his team. It is wonderful to see the results of the hard work Polish people have done to build a country that is a model of democracy and human rights, with a strong and vibrant economy and a rich and varied culture.

Canada and Poland share a long history of co-operation, often under extremely difficult circumstances. It is important that we honour and respect the past, including the Second World War battles where Polish and Canadian soldiers fought side-by-side; Canada's safeguarding of the treasures of Wawel during the Nazi occupation; as well as Canada's support for the independence of Poland during the Cold War years.

Happily, this year marks the 25th anniversary of Poland's renewed independence-an occasion for joy and celebration.

Of course, it is equally important that we look forward, in order to seize new opportunities and face the challenges of the 21st century.

The foundation of our collaboration lies in our shared values and the close people-to-people ties that exist between Canada and Poland. Nearly one million Canadians have Polish roots, and the contribution of Polish immigrants to Canada has been enormous in fields ranging from science to hockey, from music to politics to the military.

Our delegation includes a number of leading Canadians who recognize that creativity, collaboration and innovation are essential to our prosperity and to our overall success as societies.

Poland is an important partner for Canada, and vice versa. Poland has identified Canada as one of its seven strategic emerging export markets. By the end of last year, Canada-Poland bilateral merchandise trade had reached $1.7 billion.

That is an impressive figure, and our activities in sectors such as aerospace, transportation, mining, oil and gas, sustainable technologies and information and communication technology will continue to extend our collaboration.

The recent signing of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, promises to bring us even closer together. CETA represents a major step forward in bringing Canada and Poland into closer contact and increasing our shared prosperity.

Canada looks forward to an even stronger partnership with Poland in future, building on our many shared interests.

I thank you again for welcoming us so warmly to your country.

David Johnston

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