President David Grander was part of a high-level contingent of Caribbean and other leaders, who yesterday, April 18, met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the margins of the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, United Kingdom (UK); to discuss possible areas of collaboration and to address challenges of the diaspora in Canada.
This meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau was preceded by bilateral talks between Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge and his ministerial counterpart, Chrystia Freeland in Lima, Peru on the sidelines of the recently hosted Summit of the Americas.
Discussions involved raising the level of activity in Ottawa and Toronto, owing to the fact that the Guyanese Diaspora in Canada stands at an estimated 200,000.
According to a Department of Public Information (DPI) release, the issue of Guyana’s territorial integrity and its progress was also discussed along with trade cooperation with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and other areas of cooperation.
In a brief address to the media in London, Trudeau said while there are existing good relations the meeting will give him the opportunity to hear more from the leaders, more specifically in the context of the G7 leadership.
“One of the focus will be on pushing climate resilience and infrastructure in the work we can do to ensure that your communities, small islands and states have opportunities to continue to keep your citizens safe and keep their countries and economies growing,” he noted.
President Granger last September during a meeting with Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Meeting at the UN Headquarters, New York had articulated that the Commonwealth is a good forum to keep the issue of climate change alive.
The Head of State yesterday confirmed that one of the main focus for Guyana at CHOGM 2018 with be environmental issues and during his meeting with Baroness Scotland on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the matter was addressed in the context of Guyana’s Iwokrama Rainforest.
Minister Greenidge confirmed this following Tuesday’s meeting.
Coming out of a meeting held in Lima with some of the leaders present at yesterday’s deliberations, Trudeau said he was able to engage in talks with a leader of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to present a number of the challenges faced in the areas of financing, infrastructure by said countries.
“I am very much looking to be a helpful voice on top of being a direct partner in how we deal with some of the challenges that are so prevalent in our world these days, whether it be around climate or economic growth,” he posited.
Guyana and Canada over the years have enjoyed good bilateral relations through political ties with the Commonwealth, commercial links, development assistance and immigration.