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Canada Day 2016 Reception; Speech by the Consul General of Canada, J. Ian Burchett

Mr. Rimsky Yuen, Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;

Mr. Song Ru’an, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China;

Mr. Jasper Tsang, President of the Hong Kong Legislative Council;

Esteemed friends of the Hong Kong and Macao Consular Corps;

Our terrific colleagues from the offices of the Government of Alberta, British Columbia, et le Bureau d’immigration du Québec;

Chers amis

Good evening! Bon Soir

Bienvenue à toutes et à tous - à la fête du Canada!

Allow me to offer a special note of thanks to those of you who made the journey from Macao.

We are delighted that you could join us!

As many of you know, this is my last Canada Day in Hong Kong and Macao after my four-year assignment here.

It seems like only yesterday that in the words of Canadian pop singer, Carly Rae Jepson “that I just met you and this is crazy” to see how fast time flies.

I am extremely proud that together with the entire Canadian Consulate General team we are part of the 93-year and ever expanding history of Canada’s presence in this region.

Throughout this extraordinary partnership, we have repeatedly witnessed so many things that Canada, Hong Kong and Macao have in common:

  • Our shared heritage, which is illustrated by our steadfast respect for diversity, inclusion, a commitment to good governance and the rule of law, and strong adherence to the “One Country, Two Systems” principle;
  • Our robust trade and investment ties; and
  • And of course our deep people-to-people connections.

This brings me to this year’s Canada Day celebration theme: “A Cool Connected Canada”.

And speaking of “cool”, despite the current heat wave that we have been experiencing of late, let me highlight several significant achievements in the past four years that have truly “connected” us:

  • The Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement in 2012;
  • North America’s first Renminbi hub in Canada in 2015; and
  • The Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement just this year.

And this is all because: Hong Kong and Macau are the places to connect with Canadians in Asia!

There are now over 200 Canadian companies in Hong Kong strongly supported by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the Canadian University Association in Hong Kong, the Chinese Canadian Association and CPA Canada – the Chartered Professional Accountants in Hong Kong.

It is also terrific to see the growing number of Canadian start-ups and entrepreneurs coming here too!

And one out of every twenty people you meet in Hong Kong and Macao is Canadian!

Precisely because of those numbers, our office issued over 27,000 Canadian passports last year.

But Canada’s accomplishments and your successes are not just about trade and businesses.

This year:

  1. The Canadian Consulate General, along with the EU, UK and US missions received a special award of recognition from Hong Kong’s Community Business for leadership in promoting LGBTI inclusion in Hong Kong.
  2. Our office organized the first Pop-Up Canada in Macao where we showcased what our country has to offer and explored new opportunities between Canada and Macao.
  3. And, as you know, Canada is firmly committed to tackling climate change and joining hands with Hong Kong and Macao in protecting our global environment.

We achieved this because of you!

I firmly believe that opportunities for Canada and Hong Kong, and Canada and Macao, to become more connected are endless!

And I know that you will support the next Consul General with your same warmth and enthusiasm.

Now allow me to pay special tribute to our contributors this evening, from Canada, from Hong Kong, and from Macao, who, as sponsors and partners, have generously supported this celebrations.

To our three Gold Maple Sponsors:

  • CK Hutchison Group;
  • Delia School Of Canada;
  • And Sun Wah Group.

Thank you for your unwavering support!

I would also like to recognise our 15 Red Maple Sponsors listed on the screen behind me.

Let me also thank those partners who are providing the Canadian culinary delights:

  • BC Fine Foods for the fresh canadian seafood;
  • Canada Beef International for the exceptional canadian beef;
  • Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers for the delicous and healthy salad canapes;

In conclusion allow me please a personal moment of reflection.

When I arrived here over four years ago, I quickly realized that the Canadian community in Hong Kong and Macau was truly a special family.

I have been reminded of this every day since - and most especially this past weekend - be it in the office, in meetings and at events across Hong Kong and Macau or at my church here, St. John’s Cathedral.

We always come together to help each other and to support one another. This is terrific!

It has been an extraordinary honour and a distinct privilege to work with each of you and I am so proud of what you do every day to nurture and strengthen Canada’s ties locally and regionally.

You are the best and Andre and I will miss you!

So tonight, let us celebrate another successful year that Canada and Hong Kong and Macao have enjoyed.

And I trust there will be much excitement as we anticipate the year ahead:

2017 is the year that we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation and it is also the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region!

I will be back in Ottawa but please - let’s stay “connected”….

“Call me maybe?”

Sur cette note, merci de bien vouloir lever votre verre

and allow me to propose a toast:

To the people of the People’s Republic of China and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

Santé. Cheers!

It gives me great pleasure to invite Secretary for Justice Mr. Rimsky Yuen to deliver his remarks.


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