Rideau Hall Grounds, Ottawa, Canada
7 May 2015
Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and Mrs. Sharon Johnston welcomed President Benigno S. Aquino III on the occasion of his state visit to Canada in their official residence at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
The President rode a state landau (horse-drawn carriage) when he arrived for the official welcoming ceremony with military honors at the grounds of Rideau Hall. Minister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney introduced President Aquino to the Governor General of Canada and Mrs. Sharon Johnston.
In his welcome remarks, H.E. David Johnston expressed their delight to welcome the Philippine President and his delegation to Rideau Hall and to Canada. He acknowledged the close ties between the two countries and is hopeful that this relationship can flourish by exploring new areas and opportunities.
“The dialogue we engage in is vital to the strength of our relationship. In our modern age, we must be able to communicate. We know this today, just as those who forged our initial links knew that we would find more success when we work together,” the Governor General said.
President Aquino, on the other hand, said that he is glad and fortunate to have accepted the invitation as he also wants to reciprocate the visit of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Manila in 2012.
According to the President, Canadians and Filipinos share many traits and values like having the disposition to kindness and hospitality.
“We look forward to strengthening our already robust relations. I believe that if we continue in engaging one another as we have done in the past then we can turn our collective aspirations of meaningul shared progress that is inclusive into tangible reality sooner rather than later,” he said.
This is the first state visit of a Philippine President to Canada since the visit of former President Fidel V. Ramos in 1997.
* * *