The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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State Dinner in Honour of His Excellency Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the United Mexican States

Rideau Hall, Tuesday, June 28, 2016


It’s a great honour for Sharon and me to welcome you and the members of your delegation to Rideau Hall and to Canada.

I’d like to start by acknowledging that this gathering is taking place on the traditional territory of the Algonquin peoples.

Excellency, we are so pleased to see you again and to have this opportunity to return the warm hospitality that you and the Mexican people offered us when we visited your country on the occasion of your inauguration in 2012.

It was a memorable trip that strengthened our many ties. We were reminded of all our two countries have in common, that we are both friends and continental partners who believe wholeheartedly in advancing economic opportunity, justice and fairness, the rule of law and respect for personal freedoms.

The strength of the relationship between Canada and Mexico is a reflection of the genuine affection shared by our peoples. 

As indicated by the millions of Canadians who travel to Mexico each year, I can assure you Canadians have been captivated by Mexico’s charm and cultural richness.

Each of you in this room tonight recognizes how important it is for countries like Canada and Mexico to work together.

Each of you has a strong connection to both of our nations.

You work hard to ensure we take advantage of every opportunity to collaborate. We do so because we know it’s the best way to achieve success domestically and internationally.

At the heart of our relationship is a desire to address the shared challenges we face. Our people-to-people ties are growing, leading to ever more opportunities for collaboration and mutual understanding.

Canada and Mexico are each other’s third largest trading partners; our universities and colleges participate in numerous exchanges; and we are constantly promoting co-operation between our governments and institutions.

As a trading nation and active participant in building the architecture of international co-operation, Canada seeks to engage the world in a positive, constructive manner. Our relationship with Mexico is an important part of this effort.

It’s up to us to create the smarter, more caring and inclusive societies of which we dream, working in partnership with all citizens, including the indigenous peoples of both Canada and Mexico.

We are delighted with the joint efforts we are making to improve security and increase prosperity across the entire hemisphere. It is therefore in the spirit of solidarity and fellowship—which we hold so dear—that I sincerely hope citizens and organizations in both Mexico and Canada will follow our example and continue this lively dialogue.

Our world today is characterized by a deepening integration, including in the digital sphere, but there remains no substitute for international exchange and face-to-face gatherings like this one.

Tonight’s dinner is a celebration of our deep and enduring friendship and a catalyst for an even greater friendship between Canada and Mexico.

And on that note, I’m pleased you are attending the North American Leaders’ Summit tomorrow to further our continental partnership.

Excellency, I thank you for visiting our country, and wish you further success for the duration of your stay with us.

Now, let us raise a glass to the many ties that bind our two countries in friendship.

To Canada and Mexico!