Remarks on the visit of President of Chile Gabriel Boric
I am very happy to be here today with the new president of Chile, Gabriel Boric.
This morning we met and talked about our shared progressive priorities: building an economy that works for everyone, protecting democracy, fighting climate change and working in partnership with Indigenous peoples.
I have to say that Canada and Chile have had a longstanding positive relationship, but today President Boric and I really reaffirmed that it’s also a friendship. At a time like this, with so much instability around the world, the challenges of the pandemic, the challenges of the fight against climate change, challenges of global conflict and tremendous issues as we see authoritarian states rise and democracies backslide in some cases, it’s so important to be celebrating and welcoming the arrival of a strong progressive voice on the world stage.
It is great news for Chile. It’s great news for Canada to have such a strong partner at the other end of the continent. but it’s really important as well that we continue to add to the strong voices around the world fighting for democracy, for human rights, combatting threats to our institutions and stability, aligned on climate change, on gender equality, on inclusion on the kinds of things we know don’t just make life easier and better for all of our citizens, but also lead to better economic growth.
We talked about a lot of these things and as I think people know, we’re tremendously aligned. We even got into the challenges of gun violence and how Canada has moved forward recently on stronger gun control, and some of the challenges that Chile is facing as well.
So, I’m very, very excited to be welcoming you, Gabriel, here to Ottawa on this first... first big trip outside your region. That you chose to come to Canada really reinforces, not just the 80 years of friendship between our countries and 25 years of trade but... of free trade, but the strong anchored reality of values that we share from across the Americas.
As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are both focused on building economies that create jobs and opportunities for everyone. Discussing trading opportunities that can create growth and good jobs for both of our countries was something that we did. For 25 years, the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement has provided opportunities for businesses and workers, and we look forward to continuing and deepening that relationship and friendship.
We’re committed to creating now opportunities for Canadian and Chilean businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them reach new markets and customers, which is good for our economy and ensures that Canada stays competitive when it has access to economies around the world like strong economies in South America. As our economies recover and grow, we need to ensure that it does so in a way that brings everyone along.
Both the Canadian and the Chilean Cabinet are composed of at least 50% women and today an agreement was reached to continue moving in the right direction.
Today we are announcing an agreement to promote gender equality and empower women in all parts of our societies, including supporting policies that ensure women’s inclusion in COVID-19 economic recovery efforts, representation in leadership positions, wage parity, addressing gender-based violence, and more.
We know that securing a strong economic future requires us to take climate action and protect the environment as partners and friends. That’s exactly what we’re doing.
Today, Canada committed to co-sponsoring the Americas for the Protection of the Ocean Declaration with Chile. Canada and Chile are both ocean countries. We know healthy oceans are critical for jobs, for communities and for fighting climate change. Today’s announcement is about how we keep the Pacific Ocean healthy from protecting migratory routes for sea animals to preserving delicate coastal ecosystems.
We are also working together to promote another tool to fight climate change and stimulate economic growth: the price on pollution. In November, during COP26, I called on other countries to ensure that 60% of global emissions are covered by a pollution pricing scheme by 2030. Today, Canada and Chile are formally committed to working together to achieve this goal.
Canada and Chile both have a price on pollution, and in Canada, our system puts more money back into the pockets of a majority of Canadian families. A strong plan to fight climate change keeps our air clean and is critical to creating jobs and growth.
By building a fairer and better future, we’re helping strengthen the foundations of our democracies. Stronger democracies are in everyone’s interests, as we look to the forces that seek to threaten the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens. Both of our countries are committed to promoting and protecting democracy at home, across our hemisphere, and around the world. We’re committed to defending human rights, freedom, equality, and combatting threats to our institutions and society. We welcome Chile joining the Freedom Online Coalition, which supports Internet freedom worldwide. And together, we strongly condemn Putin’s ongoing, unjustified and horrific attacks on Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine and remain steadfast in our support for its sovereignty and for the rights of Ukrainians to choose their own future.
President Boric, Gabriel, I’m honoured to welcome you today.
Thank you for choosing Canada, but mostly, thank you for the work you do in bringing our countries together and making sure that our voice resonates strongly together on the world stage.
I look forward to the work we will do together to advance progressive policies as likeminded partners at the Summit of the Americas in L.A. this week, but also in the months and indeed in the years to come.
Thank you, my friend. Welcome.