|Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Canada???s Governor General, David Johnston in discussion. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??|
Ways of continuing and improving the harmonious relationship that exists between Barbados and Canada took centre stage on Monday, as Prime Minister Freundel Stuart held bilateral talks with visiting Canadian Governor General (GG) His Excellency, The Right Honourable David Johnston at Ilaro Court.
He was accompanied by his wife Sharon and some Members of the Canadian Parliament at the meeting.
In welcoming the Canadian Head of State, Prime Minister Stuart noted that Barbados and Canada had enjoyed a long and very good relationship that dated as far back as the 17th century. He assured His Excellency that Barbados had a deep regard for Canada and the fact that so many Barbadian families resided in Canada was testimony to those strong ties.
The Prime Minister made it clear that Barbados did not compromise on its public education system, with every citizen being afforded the best training opportunities – from nursery to tertiary levels. He also noted that Barbados had a very strong, reliable social safety net so that the most vulnerable persons "did not fall through the cracks".
Mr. Stuart told His Excellency that Barbados was committed to preserving the Inter-American system and Inter-American values and still held the view that "we are friends of all- and satellites of none".
In turn, the Canadian Governor General described relationship between the two countries as "unique and very special", and one that was based on mutual respect.
The Governor General was in Barbados on a working visit to promote stronger business, security and educational linkages between the two countries. Monday’s talks also centred on the CARICOM-Canada Trade Agreement, the Eminent Persons Group, the Commonwealth and republicanism.
Their Excellencies arrived in Barbados last Sunday for a two-day visit.