THE Guadalcanal Province’s Premier Mr Anthony Veke, his executives and officials were honoured to receive HE Paul Maddison, High Commissioner of Canada to Solomon Islands at the provincial headquarter Thursday last week.
Veke thanked His Excellency for taking his time off his busy schedule to visit Guadalcanal province (GP).
Maddison was briefed on the progress of GP’s partnership with Canada through the CITREC programme and how it has touched the lives of the Guadalcanal people.
Veke also expressed his vision to explore other opportunities for Guadalcanal province to see Canada as a market destination for agricultural products.
In his reply, High Commissioner Maddison thanked the leadership of Premier Veke for making his visit possible.
“I would not be here without the leadership of you Mr. Premier, for that I thank you very much. I also applaud you the Executives for choosing to serve your people,” Maddison said.
“It is a great honour for me to be Canada’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands and I said that very sincerely. There are great potentials for our partnership to result in greater prosperity. However already at this point in time, you (Guadalcanal Province) are trail blazing,” he told Premier Veke and his executives.
On the CITREC programme, he applauded CITREC Chairman and Honorary Consular General Mr Ashwant Dwivedi for his extraordinary amount of energy, enthusiasm, hard work, innovative thinking and service to Solomon Islands, in particular to Guadalcanal Province.
He is glad to see the programme evolve with opportunities for participants to get permanent residency in Canada.
Maddison said that Dwivedi has written to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, met with him, presented him with a shell money and created a deep conversation about Guadalcanal and Solomon Islands with which the Prime Minister got to ask questions about Solomon Islands.
Canada as a multicultural and multiracial country welcomes people from all around the world and celebrate their different cultures and faiths.
He said that the outcome of GP-CITREC programme is leading to greater visibility in Canada.
“In Canada, our strength is in our diversity, your people coming in will be bringing in your history, your culture and your pride sharing it with Canadians,” Maddison said
Veke then briefed His Excellency on Guadalcanal province’s government’s position on women development.
“My government is working hard to provide an equal platform for women development. With that edge to make women equal partner in development, Guadalcanal province is the first province in Solomon Islands to launch its Women Development Policy,” Veke expressed.
This was meet with great enthusiasm by Maddison as he told the Premier and his Executives about Canada’s International Development Policy which has a take-line to be Canada’s first Feminist International Policy.
Maddison said, “What it means is that, number one priority of Canadian Government is women and girls. In every project we invest in, it must show how it will improve the lives of women and girls. Whether it is a climate project, agriculture project, freshwater project or any project, we believe by lifting women up, we can make this world stronger, more secure and safe.”
He further told the meeting about ‘Canada’s Fund for Local Initiative’ which local Non-governmental Organization in Guadalcanal can utilise to realise some life changing projects.
In concluding the meeting, Veke thanked Maddison on behalf of the people and government of Guadalcanal province for his encouragements and positive remarks about Guadalcanal’s partnership with Canada though CITREC and the many opportunities to explore for greater prosperity of Guadalcanal.
He sends his best wishes for 2018 to the people and government of Canada through the High Commissioner.
Post meeting, External Affairs Officer for Guadalcanal Province Mr Mcfaddean Aoraunisaka said that Maddison is the third Ambassador to visit Guadalcanal Province since Premier Veke’s government took office in 2016.
Another Ambassador is scheduled to meet with Premier Veke in the coming days which shall be the fourth.
“As a province striving to internationalize itself, such meetings with top diplomats are very important,” Aoraunisaka said.