NOTES FOR AN ADDRESS BY
H.E. DR. HEATHER CAMERON, HIGH COMMISSIONER OF CANADA
ON THE OCCASION OF CANADA DAY 2019
July 03, 2019
*CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Welcome! Bienvenue! Akwaba!
Honourable Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng;
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
Honourable Members of Parliament;
Senior representatives of the Government of Ghana;
Your Excellencies and members of the diplomatic corps;
Nii Mei, Naa Mei and Nananum,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
At the outset, I would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to the
Government of Ghana for the safe return of our two Canadian volunteers who were released
from captivity just a couple of weeks ago. We are so thankful for the efforts of those in
government, in the security and law enforcement agencies who made serious decisions that
enabled not only the safe return of these young Canadian women, but also the capture of those
perpetrators. This successful outcome is an important milestone for Ghana, and for Ghanaians,
for it re-affirms the commitment of many to sustaining peace and security in Ghana. Let me also
extend our thanks to all of the Ghanaians, Canadians and members of the international
community, who offered support, encouragement, and assistance. We are grateful.
For decades, Canadians and Ghanaians have worked together – and the knowledge exchange
those young women, and many of their peers are undertaking- represent the next generation of
partnership and friendship. Our work to promote and empower young Ghanaian entrepreneurs,
whether in Kumasi, Tamale, Accra or beyond, is important. In Tamale and Accra alone, our
youth entrepreneurship programme has helped more than 7,150 youth last year to develop an
“innovative mindset” and to start and/or grow their businesses. I was pleased to visit this
program, and others, over this past year, and have been struck by the talent and energies of
Ghanaian men and women, who are creating new opportunities, developing their talents and
helping to grow Ghana’s economy.
Canada and Ghana working together are making a difference. Our partnerships with the
government, development partners and civil society organizations have allowed us to advance
our shared agenda. Our work is guided by innovation, and we are continuously seeking new or
improved business models, policy practices, technologies or new ways to deliver services.
For example, Canadian expertise has helped to ensure Ghana has the only internationally
certified welding facility in the West Africa region. Agricultural techniques are being
modernized and adapted to a changing climate. Whether it is training in advanced mathematics,
or establishing linkages between research results and farmers, helping to develop clean-energy
training or advocating for a better access to financial services for women, we are contributing to
Ghana’s current and future prosperity.
In March this year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, with the Western Region and Ghana
Education Service, we organized a STEM career fair in Takoradi for over 600 girls and their
parents. Whether locally, or globally Canada continues to work to catalyze the global gender
equality agenda. In June, Canada hosted Women Deliver in Vancouver, the largest conference on
gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women. We celebrated with
global leaders, including His Excellency President Akufo-Addo of Ghana, the progress made in
advancing rights and empowerment, and reaffirmed our commitment to do more to make gender
equality a reality for everyone, everywhere.
Canadian trade and investment in Ghana continues to grow and diversify. I am honoured that
joining us here tonight is the Hon. Scott Brison, former Minister of the Treasury Board of
Canada, and now Vice-Chair, Investment & Corporate Banking BMO, the top mining investment
bank globally. May this be the first of many trips and connections between Canada and Ghana
for you and your team. Within the last month, the largest trade mission from Ghana went to
Canada to attend the Global Petroleum Show, creating new opportunities for our private sectors,
governments and institutions to work together. Our Canada-Ghana Chamber of Commerce also
continues to focus on new sectors as our trade diversifies. Responsible business practices
including corporate social responsibility and reducing the environmental footprint of natural
resource industries with a focus on clean technologies and renewable energies remain important
pillars of Canada’s approach to trade in Ghana – and to our own development at home in Canada.
This past year has been a busy one for Canada. Advancing free trade through new agreements
with our US and Mexican partners, with the Trans-Pacific region, and with other countries
around the world. Trade is fundamental Canada’s economic success, and we believe that it is
fundamental to Ghana’s success as well. I commend the Government of Ghana for its
ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Our Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Chrystia Freeland has been an active and important
voice on the importance of multilateralism, and of sustaining liberal democracy. She was
honoured to be named “Diplomat of the Year”, and it is a privilege for me to work here in Ghana
to help advance these shared priorities. Whether it is to bring new voices, and women’s voices,
to the discussions on global and regional peace and security, to convene partners together to
stand united in the face of challenges, or to help innovate in important areas such as migration
and refugees, Canada is active, engaged and working to find common solutions. We want to
help build forward-looking approaches to the world’s toughest problems — and we believe that
our unique diversity can help to do so.
Our work demonstrates that we are working to contribute to a new multilateralism, where
benefits are distributed more broadly, more evenly and more fairly; a new multilateralism where
commitments are fulfilled, implementation happens, and results can be experienced by
people. The UN Security Council has an important role to play, and you can count on Canada to
stand up for things that matter, and to focus on building bridges, rather than divisions. We will
continue to be relentless in our diplomacy, sincere in our partnerships and innovative in our
approaches. That is our commitment as we continue to campaign for a seat on the UN Security
Council in 2021-2022.
Honourable Minister, Canada and Ghana have a shared history and strong people-to-people
ties. Canadian alumni are active here in Ghana continues to grow and make their own economic
and social contributions. And soon, many more students will be heading to Canada for a world-
class education! I am pleased to see the Canadians, and the Ghanaian-Canadian diaspora
engaging in Ghana – and a warm welcome to those members here tonight. But equally, I am
pleased to see the role that Ghanaian-Canadians are playing in shaping Canada. Whether it is as
some of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, or as one of Canada’s strongest new literary voices,
Canadians with roots and ties to Ghana are shaping us as a country along with others from
around the world. Canada remains open to the world, and we will again welcome over 300,000
new residents this year. And the diverse, confident swagger of Toronto was on full display as
the Toronto Raptors won the NBA basketball championship for the first time in history!
A diverse Canada, open to the world and engaged in it. I am proud to bring this to Ghana, and to
advance our relationship through it. (Toast).
Before concluding, I would like to thank our generous sponsors for helping make this evening
possible. They are:
• Kinross Chirano
• Japan Motors
• Adom city estate
• Golden Star resources
• Canadian Independent College
• and West African Rescue Association
And I would like to thank the members of “team Canada” — our staff that have contributed, in
ways large and small to this evening’s event, but also to the success of our bilateral relations.
Vos efforts sont bien appréciés et sont essentiels à notre succès.
Thank you for being with us this evening to celebrate Canada Day. Bonne Fête du Canada!
Happy Canada Day! Afihyia Pa, Canada!
May I now ask that we raise our glasses to the good health of the President of Ghana, His
Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and to continuing peace and prosperity for the
people of Ghana, and to the enduring friendship between Canada and Ghana.