PM Harper extends warmest wishes as Filipinos celebrate 117th anniversary of Philippine Independence; Minister Nicholson proud of strong, expanding bilateral relationship

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on Philippine Independence Day:

“Today, I extend my warmest wishes to all those in Canada and around the world who are celebrating the 117th anniversary of the independence of the Philippines.

“Since independence, the Philippines has faced challenges, but thanks to its industrious people the country has emerged today as one of the leading economies in Southeast Asia and a strong promoter of freedom, democracy and justice.

“Canadians of Filipino origin now number roughly 700,000 and vibrant Filipino communities can be found in every part of our great country – in small towns and big cities, from coast to coast to coast. Members of the community will be gathering at festive events to mark this day and to celebrate their heritage.

“Indeed, the strong links that our Filipino community maintains with their homeland contributes to the strong and growing friendship that our two countries enjoy today.

“This friendship was evident when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in 2013. Canada was at the forefront of the international relief effort and Canadians gave generously to help the people of the Philippines recover from this catastrophe.

“More recently, I was pleased to welcome President Benigno Aquino III to Canada for his three day visit to Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. During the state visit, we launched exploratory discussions towards a free trade agreement and agreed to review with the intent to improve the existing Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. We also announced a number of projects that will continue to help the Philippines recover from Typhoon Haiyan as well as support for a number of initiatives aimed at improving maritime security, countering terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region, and supporting the Bangsamoro peace process.

“I am confident that our partnership will continue to grow in the years to come to the benefit of both our countries.

“Once again, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish all those celebrating today, Maligayang araw ng kalayaan!”

Minister Nicholson Marks Philippine Independence Day

Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement:

“Today, I join all Canadians of Philippine origin and Filipinos around the world in celebrating the 117th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence.

“Canada is proud to have a strong and expanding bilateral relationship with the Philippines. Our ties are built on a solid foundation of nearly 700,000 people of Philippine origin who now call Canada home.

“The bilateral relationship between our two countries is further strengthened through our cooperation across a range of mutual interests, including security, regional and global issues, development and disaster relief.

“As we celebrate today, Canada is proud to be a friend to the Philippines, a country with which we share the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”

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