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Reception for leaders of diplomatic missions to Canada speech

"Thank you for taking the time to visit our great province to know us better, and to learn about our people and our opportunities."

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Your Excellencies and Members of the Diplomatic Corps, it is such a pleasure to welcome all of you to Alberta.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our great province to know us better, and to learn about our people and our opportunities.

Let me offer a special thank you to our federal partners from Global Affairs Canada for your invaluable assistance in making this tour possible.

And thank you to the Alberta Protocol Office for your outstanding work and professionalism in organizing and managing this tour.

I am the first to admit that Alberta is not at its most attractive in early March.

The green leaves and grass, the growing crops and the bright flowers are still a few months away.

But I can assure you that our people are warm, welcoming and open to opportunity at every time of the year.

You will have discovered that in Banff, and at the Canmore Nordic Centre, where organizers are getting ready to host the final four races of the Ski Tour Canada competition.

And in Calgary, where you learned about:

  • the track record of Alberta women in realizing their business leadership, and
  • the eagerness of immigrant women for developing their business potential.

At the colleges in Olds and Red Deer in the heart of farming country, you saw how innovation and business potential are coming together in new ways to create new opportunities.

And in Lacombe, you saw how a business woman and her company use innovative technology to expand the business into new applications.

Tomorrow, you will hear directly from three Ministers of my government, for Indigenous Relations, Economic Development and Trade, and the Status of Women.

And we look forward to introducing you to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta tomorrow.

But tonight, let me say that I hope you are seeing much that opens the door to future partnerships between your countries and Alberta.

Part of that is the innovation and business leadership you saw during the tour.

Part of it is Alberta’s awareness that, with just four million people…our economic future depends both on supporting women, and expanding exports.

Our small population demands that we encourage and support the success of everyone—women as well as men—with an innovative idea or business potential.

Without the business leadership of women, Alberta would be working at half its potential.

It is as much common sense as it is social justice.

And Alberta has always looked to the world for markets, for technology and for partnerships.

That is why we maintain international offices:

  • Seven of them throughout Asia, in: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan;
  • One in India;
  • One in the United Kingdom;
  • and two in the Americas, in Washington D.C. and Mexico City.

Even with our strong international commitment, …even with our commitment to business, to innovation and to women…

…our biggest potential for partnership lies in our shared heritage.

On your tour you met people who came, or whose ancestors came, from around the globe.

Your countries represent the heritage of so many of us in Alberta.

Albertans whose family roots are in other countries contribute every day:

  • to the health of our economy,
  • to the diversity and caring of our communities,
  • and to the richness of our culture.

I feel that our shared heritage, with:

  • respect for our differences,
  • and appreciation for our similarities,
  • …is the strongest possible foundation on which we can build.

And I hope this reception and this tour help to open new windows of opportunity for all of our jurisdictions to explore our future partnerships.

Thank you. 

Government of Alberta