We have all heard the old saying “no man is an island.”. Today’s modern version of this is “no country is an island”, and that includes Canada. As a country we just can’t live in isolation. We must deal with the realities of living on the world scene. Our Government is committed to protecting and promoting Canadian values here at home, as well as abroad. Canada is leading on the world stage. Recently Prime Minister Harper participated in the G7 summit in Germany and bilateral meetings in Europe to advance Canadian priorities on the world stage.
He also made his third trip to Ukraine since March 2014. Meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister Harper reaffirmed Canada’s continued support for the people of Ukraine and condemnation of Russian military aggression in Crimea. He also announced the deployment of Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Canadian police officers, in an advisory and training capacity, to help strengthen security in Ukraine.
During the G7 summit, the Prime Minister and other G7 leaders discussed the global economic recovery and explored opportunities to help it grow. They also committed to address the security challenges facing our global community. Canada and our G7 partners are united in working together to apply pressure on Russia to end its military aggression in Ukraine, and to defeat terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram.
Building on our previous global leadership, Prime Minister Harper encouraged our partners to continue efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries. Through the Muskoka Initiative initiated by Canada in 2010, our Conservative Government continues to lead efforts to address the health challenges and disadvantages faced by women, infants and children in the poorest of countries – helping save every woman and every child within arm’s reach.
Our Government also announced further support to continue the fight against human smuggling. Criminal networks that organize human smuggling exploit vulnerable people, fund terrorist activities, undermine Canada’s sovereignty, and threaten national security. We are also renewing our coordinated efforts to help prevent human smuggling and illegal migration in our global community.
Following the G7 Summit, Prime Minister Harper travelled to Poland to help reinforce bilateral relations between our two countries. He signed a Declaration of Intent to indicate our mutual commitment to strengthening defence cooperation and contributing to international security. Prime Minister Harper then joined Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Fredericton that is patrolling the Baltic Sea as part of NATO assurance measures.
Travelling to Vatican City, Prime Minister Harper met with His Holiness Pope Francis, and discussed a broad range of pressing global issues, including the persecution of religious minority groups. Under our Conservative Government, Canada has taken a strong, principled stance to defend religious freedom, and is working to combat religious persecution in our global community.
He also travelled to Italy to meet with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, discussing international security, trade opportunities and bilateral agreements.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s trip to Europe, where he met with leaders in Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Vatican City and Italy, build on Canada’s global leadership. These meetings provide important opportunities for Canada to work with like-minded countries.
Our Government remains committed to leading on the world stage to protect the safety and security of Canadians, and to promote Canadian values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. I hope you share these values too.