Dear friends of the Italian community,
I am very happy to address you for the first time as Italian Ambassador to Canada, to make each and every one of you, the most ardent and affectionate wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Christmas around us creates a more serene, a pause in life every day, a special occasion to dedicate ourselves to our families, to our friends and our loved ones. In an address a cordial greeting to you and your loved ones, I would remind the great moments we experienced during 2013, the year just spent was in fact very important for Italy and the Community Italian and for relations between Italy and Canada.
In February this year he was elected the new Italian Parliament and is the formation of a new government that has put in place a plan for reform modernizing institutions, boost the economy of the country, to encourage the growth and create jobs. Through the "Destination Italy ", announced by the Prime Minister Enrico Letta in September last year, will now be introduced new measures in the field of taxation, labor and civil justice in order to attract foreign investment and promote competitiveness of Italian firms. Shortly after my arrival in Canada, in June, took place Instead, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver Day celebrations of the Republic with the participation of thousands of countrymen and many Canadian and Italian personality. Among these I would like to thank, in Specifically, the President of the Senate Noël Kinsella, Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, Minister Julian Fantino, the members of Canadian Parliament, the Government and the Provincial Assemblies as well as the Ladies Francesca La Marca and Fuchsia Nissoli for having honored us with their presence in this important event. As previously announced, the next year Republic Day will be in effect the feast of the Italian community, an "Italian Day" which will be jointly organized by the Consulates and representative bodies of our community. But the big event for Italy to Canada in 2013 was no doubt that the official visit of the President of the Council Letta performed in Toronto and Ottawa on 22 and 23 September at the invitation Prime Minister Harper's visit which was a huge success and that will be remembered as one of the most important and most successful of the history of relations between Italy and Canada.
During his short stay on Canadian soil, the President Letta was received by Governor General Johnston and Prime Minister Harper met the Ministers Jockey, Fast and Oliver, and took part a magnificent gala dinner organized in his honor by Congress National Italo-Canadians. Even on this occasion, Prime Minister Harper has sung the praises of the our community, emphasizing the decisive contribution that it has given to construction of modern Canada. I would like to recall, in this regard, beautiful words that he uttered September 22 evening in front of the Chairman of the Board Letta, a number of Ministers and Parliamentarians and over a thousand compatriots:
"The first generation of immigrants to Canada has built the palaces, the second, she became the owner. But the Italo-Canadians have not only built palaces, also founded families and communities. And with the values that led to - family, faith and work - have built a Canada best for all of us. "
The history of relations between Italy and Canada has had and still has in fact a great protagonist of the Italian-Canadian community, a bridge between the two countries and the engine of their economies. And it is precisely on the Italian community resting overtime constraints of friendship and cooperation that unite Italy and Canada. Also for This Italy is proud of the hundreds of thousands of its citizens who crossed the ocean and with great sacrifice and admirable tenacity have earned positions of great responsibility and by the Italian community one of the most dynamic, more integrated and more capable of the country, a community that has made a fundamental contribution to growth of Canada and its affirmation among the most advanced countries of the world.
The visit of the President of the Council Letta has further strengthened the excellent political relations, economic and trade relations between Italy and the Canada and has even closer the two countries. On the other hand the Prime Minister Harper and members of his government have always shown sincere friendship with Italy and the Italians. Just think of the generous spirit of solidarity in favor of populations affected by L'Aquila earthquake, which the Federal Government and the Italian-Canadian community were received substantial aid and more recently convinced and decisive support of the admission of Italy as Ottawa State observer in the Arctic Council. Not to mention that the partnership between Rome Ottawa and know another important leap forward in the next years with the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, whose negotiations were in their final phase. And it is this immense future Free Trade Area of euro-Canadian the Deputy Minister of Economic Development Calenda spoke with the Fast Minister of International Trade during a meeting held in Ottawa on Oct. 15. The Agreement CETA, of historical and even more ambitious NAFTA Agreement, eliminate, in fact, almost all tariff barriers, facilitate the exchange, investment and creation of jobs in Canada and Europe. The Deputy Minister Calenda, who was accompanied by representatives of 41 companies could appreciate, in this perspective, the great power of attraction and the potential that the Canadian market will offer Italian companies in areas of infrastructure, construction, engineering, the oil and gas and alternative energy.
The year that is about to begin will be an important year for Italy, for the Canada and for the Italian community. It will focus on the promotion CETA agreement in the two countries to ensure that public opinions Italian and Canadian are fully aware of the extraordinary opportunities it will create in terms of investment, trade trade and employment. Will start also across Canada an awareness campaign educational institutions so that the Italian is entered as the third language in schools where there are students Italo-Canadians. The Italian currently the fourth most spoken language in Canada, but to defend this Actually, it will be necessary for parents to ask "school boards" to introduce Italian as a teaching subject. Only in this way the Italian community will be able to preserve their culture and identity and to transmit to future generations, while the Italian-Canadian youth will closer and closer to their country of origin and establish contacts with the young Italian.
Then 2014 will be the year of the renewal Comites. Italian citizens residents of Canada will in fact be invited in the coming months to elect their representatives. The Comites, or the Committee of the Italian Residing Abroad is, as noted, the representative body of the citizens Italians in Canada, the spokesman of our community against Embassy and Consulates and represents, together with the CGIE, a point of reference for me and the Consuls General of Italy in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. 2014 will therefore be the year of the Italian community in Canada. A community vital, dynamic, united, which is a common heritage for Canada and Italy. As the Prime Minister said Letta in During his visit to Toronto "You are the best ambassadors Italy and have best represented, in recent years a country that struggled to represent its institutions in a complex political and unstable. "
For this we must always look to the future with confidence and optimism, with the awareness of being part of a great people who comes from a large Country, Italy, appreciated, respected and listened to all over the world. Looking forward to meet you soon, I wish to renew to you all the expression of my gratitude, combined with that of my collaborators, for your support, your encouragement and your precious advice. I wish to thank also the media Italian-Canadians for the space they have given me, for the attention that I and have turned to the possibility that they offered me to join the homes of our countrymen. Know that it is a great honor for me represent Italy in Canada and live with you, here in this beautiful country, where they found hospitality and opportunities million People from all over the world who have brought here the best of world, creating a cultural mosaic and a model of society perfectly succeeded where different communities live in harmony. With many affectionate greetings, on behalf of my wife Martine, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year full of success and satisfaction in each and every one of you.
Gian Lorenzo Cornado
Ambassador of Italy to Canada