“From Aid, Trade and Jobs to Outer Space … Canada Leads the Way”
As “official summer” in Canada draws to a close, it’s time to catch up on several recent news items and initiatives of significance to our nation, both on the World Stage and here at home.
The first is especially important to note due to an approaching deadline this weekend. Last month our Conservative Government established a fund to match contributions by private Canadian citizens to the ongoing humanitarian relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts in the wake of the devastating floods in Pakistan.
Pakistan has experienced the worst monsoon floods in 80 years, killing over 1,500 people and leaving millions in need of emergency assistance.
When added to the $33 million in aid our Government previously announced, this places Canada among the world’s top donor countries responding to the urgent need of millions of Pakistani people ravaged by this natural disaster.
Also in international news, our Conservative Government announced its intention to introduce legislation to implement a free trade agreement with Panama. In less than four years, we have opened doors for Canadian business by also concluding free trade agreements with Colombia, Peru, Jordan and the European Free Trade Association states.
We’ve also launched discussions on economic partnerships with two of the world’s largest economies: the European Union and India. The goal is to open borders and new markets to expand free trade, an essential driver of jobs and growth for Canadian businesses and communities.
And our perseverance in pressing our trading partners to lift ongoing bans on Canadian beef and cattle, and to seek improved access for Canada pork, has paid off yet again.
Canadian breeding cattle are back in Columbia after 10 years of restrictions. Sixty Canadian heifers will be exported to Colombia for breeding purposes and milk production. Once implemented, the recently finalized Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will further help our agriculture industry and will pay great dividends for our entire economy year after year
And speaking of our economy, Statistics Canada announced that GDP in Canada increased 2.0% in the second quarter of 2010. This increase demonstrates once again that our economy is on the right track.
And finally, in a proud moment for Canada, Ministers Gary Goodyear and Josée Verner announced that veteran astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield will be the first-ever Canadian to command the International Space Station.
Canada was the third nation in space. Canada’s astronauts have participated in 15 space missions, more than any country other than the US and Russia. The world-famous Canadarm was designed, developed and built in Canada. Canadians are understandably proud of our accomplishments in space.
Space exploration and development is a strategic asset for Canada and absolutely critical to the delivery of the Government’s key goals related to sovereignty, safety and security, sustainable management and the development of our natural resources.
We‘ll continue to invest in space exploration and development because it drives cutting-edge research, promotes technological excellence and strengthens our economy. For more information on this exciting news for Canada’s space program, go to www.asc-csa.gc.ca.