Ballroom, Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Canada
7 May 2015
A state dinner given by The Right Honourable David Johnston and Mrs. Sharon Johnston at Rideau Hall capped the first night of a three-day state visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III to Canada.
The Governor General of Canada expressed his pleasure on the visit of President Aquino as he greeted him with the same spirit of friendship and cooperation they’ve extended to his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, more than 25 years ago.
According to him, the Filipino community in Canada has grown to be one of the country’s largest communities over the past few decades and the people contribute significantly to the society in so many ways, bringing both countries closer together.
“Take our ties in education, for instance. A growing numbers of Filipino students are coming here to learn, more than 2000 in 2013 alone. This is cause for celebration. Students from the Philippines make great contributions to Canadian society during their time here. Canadian students are also able to learn a great deal from their colleagues and classmates from the Philippines, “ the Governor General said.
President Aquino, in reply, expressed the nation’s gratitude for Canada’s enduring support such as the assistance given to help rebuild communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan and for actively supporting the peacemaking efforts that will hopefully end decades of conflict in the Mindanao region.
He thanked Canada for choosing the Philippines as one of their “country of focus” and for designating the country as a priority emerging market. With more than half a million Filipinos living in Canada, President Aquino also gave his thanks for the hospitality that the government and the people have shown towards them.
He gave the country’s commitment to strengthen the existing robust relations between Philippines and Canada.
* * *