I want to recognize that we are meeting on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people. Long before there was a lumber industry in a place called Bytown, the Algonquin lived in - and were part of - the forests of this region.
It’s a privilege to be joined on this trip by such an impressive delegation of Canadian business, government and Indigenous leaders. Their presence reflects the importance of partnerships in developing Canada’s abundant natural resources. My thanks to all of you for being here.
It’s certainly appropriate that we meet tonight in a room named for Alvin Hamilton because, as Canada’s Minister of Agriculture in the 1960’s, he pioneered the sale of wheat to China.
He saw the potential for our two countries to do more. To go further. And to break new ground. Tonight, I want to do the same in the area of natural resources.
Thank you very much for that warm introduction and for reminding us that a career has many posts along the way. When I was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1988, I was 36 and I had three young kids. And now, here I am in a renewed political career, at 65 with six kids who aren’t young at all, and the number of things that have happened to our country along the way will be the subject of lots of reflection over time.
Thank you very much, Grand Chief [Perry Bellegarde, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations]. I'm very glad to be here to engage with you on issues that are so important to our communities and to Canada.