Good morning, everybody. It’s particularly rewarding for me to welcome all of you to my home, to Winnipeg and to Manitoba. When I reflect about what it means to be home, I think about what is probably the most liberal immigration policy in the history of the world, and that is the Indigenous immigration policy that let us all in. National Chief, thank you very much. I don’t know where we would be without you. You know that we always start out these conversations by acknowledging that we are, in my case, on Treaty 1 territory, in the homeland of the Métis Nation. Well, why do we do that?
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.