Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation Michael Link issued the following statement today (19 November) ahead of his departure for Quebec, Ontario and Alberta:
Canada and Germany have shared values and convictions and are working ever more closely together in the economic, academic and political spheres. Not least thanks to the CETA free trade agreement, the ratification of which is taking far too long, bilateral investment and trade between our countries continues to increase. Especially in the areas of business and academia, the focus is for the most part not on the capitals, Ottawa and Berlin, but rather on the Canadian provinces and territories, as well as on the German Länder.
That is why I will be visiting those provinces of Canada that are the largest and most important in economic terms. Ontario, with its population of more than 15 million, generates 38.1% of Canada’s GDP, followed by Quebec with 19.47% and Alberta with 16.97%. Taken together, these three provinces account for nearly three-quarters of Canada’s economic output.
During my trip, I will be placing a clear focus on economic relations and academic cooperation. Having a federal government system, too, we Germans know how important multilevel diplomacy is. That is why I believe it is also important to intensify political contacts at province and territory level.
Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation Michael Link will first fly to Montreal on Sunday (19 November), where he will hold political talks with the Quebec Ministry of International Relations and Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation. He will also meet with representatives of German companies to discuss challenges and opportunities in German-Canadian economic relations from a Quebec point of view and will conduct an exchange of views with representatives from the German academic community in Montreal. Furthermore, he will meet with the deputy head of the NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence, as well as give a speech on German foreign policy at the Université du Québec in Montreal.
In Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario, Michael Link will hold political talks on 21 November with Ted Arnott, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, as well as Jill Dunlop, Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities. This will be followed by a meeting with representatives from the German business and academic communities, cultural mediators and DAAD alumni. Also on the agenda is a speech at Munk School of Global Affairs and a meeting with German officers who are currently at the Canadian Forces College.
After arriving in the province of Alberta, Michael Link will meet with Amarjeet Sohi, the Mayor of Edmonton, on 22 November, and will then hold talks with Premier of Alberta Danielle Smith and Chief Government Whip of the Alberta Legislative Assembly Shane Getson. In the evening, he will hold discussions with members of the academic community and alumni of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
During his last stop, in Calgary on 23 November, he will discuss university and academic cooperation at the University of Calgary before meeting for political talks with Energy Minister Brian Jean, Economic Minister Matt Jones and Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz. The trip will be rounded out by talks with representatives from Alberta’s business community as well as representatives of German companies there.