Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Canada
8 May 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III was accorded a reception by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Joseph Harper during the Filipino community meeting in Toronto.

The President is in Toronto for the second leg of his State Visit to Canada and the host country’s leader joined him in the event held at the Roy Thomson Hall.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Harper lauded the success of the Filipinos’ contributions to Canada, saying that they have become an integral part of the country in all its aspect. He emphasized the ever-growing relations between the two countries in the areas of trade, investment and security concern.

The Prime Minister added that his country was the third largest humanitarian donor to the Philippines after the onslaught of super Typhoon Haiyan (local name: ‘Yolanda’), with the Canadian Red Cross providing medical assistance to the victims.

On the other hand, President Aquino expressed his appreciation to Prime Minister Harper for the warm accomodation extended to him during his visit.

“Whether in helping ensure the welfare of Filipinos here in Canada, or in standing in solidarity with us in times of disaster, and in contributing to nurturing a more peaceful and more progressive Philippines – as demonstrated by Canada’s firm commitment to our peace process and the significant economic and development support from your nation – you and your government have indeed changed the lives of so many Filipinos,” the President said.

To his kababayans, President Aquino cited the concrete reforms that his government has implemented to curb corruption, improve the economy, create livelihood opportunities and develop infrastructure, thus resulting to positive changes in the country.

“Ano po ang ibig sabihin nitong mga tagumpay na ito para sa karaniwang Pilipino? Ang pinakasimpleng sagot: Trabaho. Habang lumalago ang ekonomiya, nabubuksan din ang mga bagong puwesto sa mga opisina, pabrika, restaurant, at iba-iba pang mga negosyo,” he stated.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is home to the biggest number of Filipinos in Canada with nearly 375,000.

In total, an estimate of about 700,000 Filipinos reside in Canada belonging to the age group of 25-35 years old. Filipino is one of the widely spoken languages in Canada which is the third largest diaspora of Filipino communities in the world.

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