The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Panel Discussion on Sustainable Shipping, the Future of Transportation and CETA (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Gothenburg, Sweden, Thursday, February 23, 2017


I am delighted to be here in Gothenburg, one of the gateways to this wonderful country.

Since my arrival, I’ve been learning so much about how Canada and Sweden are working together, and I’m encouraged by the many things we have in common.

With me today are members of the Canadian delegation, including our minister of science, Kirsty Duncan, who represent the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that our countries share.

One of those delegates—Ms. Karen Oldfield, President and CEO of the Port of Halifax—is no stranger to this city. Halifax and the Port of Gothenburg are sister ports. These are key points of contact where Canadians and Swedes meet and trade with, as well as learn from, each other.

And Atlantic Canada, of course, has had an enduring connection to the wider world since at least the 16thcentury, when transatlantic traders operated seasonal fishing stations in the Maritimes.

In fact, next year will mark the 200th anniversary of Halifax becoming a free port, allowing foreign ships to ferry cargo.

Since that time, trade and transportation between our two nations has become a vital part of our economic growth. And with recent developments under CETA, trade between Canada and Sweden is forecast to increase.

Given that, it’s important not only to promote our trade, but also to make it sustainable for the future.

It’s one of the keys to our mutual success: sustainability.

Just look where we are! I’m so impressed at the efforts to build a sustainable port city here in Gothenburg.

Gothenburg is the home of “ElectriCity”, a collaborative project to develop new solutions for sustainable public transport.

I was impressed to hear that under this venture, Gothenburg is testing electric buses that are silent and emission-free, running on energy generated by wind and hydroelectricity sources.

Not only do you take into account cost and monetary impact, but you also consider environmental factors, including noise, travel time, emissions, and the use of energy and natural resources.

Representatives from Canadian municipalities and industries have visited Sweden many times to learn about your success in building sustainable cities, as well as in green energy and infrastructure.

This is what sustainability looks like. This is what innovation looks like. This is the way forward.

Innovation often happens at the intersections between communities, universities and businesses, but it can also happen between countries.

Whether working within a community or in a trans-Atlantic partnership, one of the tricks to building an innovation ecosystem is to identify and broadly share specific needs and goals, and to constantly, relentlessly, communicate across borders and disciplines.

Let us embrace this challenge and work together to build a shared, sustainable future.

Thank you.