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Canada looks forward to Guyana’s local govt elections

Canadian High Commissioner, Pierre Giroux presenting his Letters of Commission to President David Granger in the presence of Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and Acting Director General, Audrey Waddell at the Ministry of the Presidency.

New Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Pierre Giroux lauded the Government’s commitment to the hold local government elections by year end and its efforts at ensuring transparency and accountability.

“Canada believes that the holding if these elections will promote shared community values, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law by strengthening the professionalism and capability of public institutions and will ensure that citizens of Guyana actively participate in the management of their affairs,” High Commissioner Giroux was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Ministry of the Presidency.

He made these remarks as he handed over his Letters of Commission to President David Granger at the Ministry of the Presidency. Giroux previously served as Canada’s Head of Mission in San Salvador, El Salvador. Hereplaces High Commissioner, Nicole Giles.

Local government elections, last held in 1994, have been delayed for various reasons including legislative reforms which have now been completed.  Government hopes to hold those polls by year-end.

The High Commissioner said that he looks forward to constructive dialogue and collaboration with the Administration; noting that Canada and Guyana’s relationship has a great history of strong people-to-people link, shared commercial interests and cooperation.

He said that Canada is particularly encouraged by Guyana’s efforts to strengthen its trade and investment framework through appropriate legislative amendments and non-discriminatory treatment for foreign investment.

He added that Canada is willing to provide expertise and support on sustainable development and other areas.

Meanwhile, President Granger in welcoming the new High Commissioner said that notwithstanding an increasingly unfavourable and unpredictable international environment, his Government remains deeply committed in its efforts to reducing poverty and unemployment and to providing a better standard of living for all its citizens.

He made mention of the emergence of increasing threats to Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which has made the quest for sustainable development and accelerating growth even more challenging.

“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1966 there has existed between our two countries and peoples, a tradition of friendly relations, shared values and ideas,” the President said.

He added that there are ample possibilities for greater cooperation, not only at the bilateral level, but within the framework of the CARICOM-Canada cooperation programme as well. Both countries also cooperate at the multilateral level especially within the Commonwealth.

“Guyana is appreciative of Canada’s continued commitment to this partnership. Many initiatives supported by the Government of Canada have had beneficial impacts on Guyanese communities. We would like to work closer with you to further enhance some of these programmes and also to explore new areas of collaboration in the future,” President Granger said.

He also spoke highly of the participation of the Canadian private sector in the Guyanese economy, particularly in the extractive industry and said this reflects the confidence of investors in the local economy.

“We have no doubt that during your tenure, you will encourage more cooperation to explore investment and other possibilities in Guyana,” the President said.