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Canada and India share a deep bond


Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney completed a six-day visit to India, recently.

“This official visit to India was a great opportunity to promote Canada internationally,” said Kenney. “Our two Commonwealth democracies share a deep and growing bond.”

Kenney attended the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Cochin, Kerala, a large gathering of India’s overseas diaspora at which he spoke on Canada’s model of pluralism, and the success of the more than one million Canadians of Indian origin. He was joined by Member of Parliament Joe Daniel and Senator Asha Seth.

In Cochin, Kenney met with Vayalar Ravi, India’s Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, who he encouraged to move forward with legislation to regulate the conduct of immigration agents and recruiters to better protect from exploitation Indians seeking to visit or immigrate to Canada.

He discussed matters of mutual interest with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, and spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy about the contribution of Canada’s growing Malayali community.

Kenney also met with Cardinal George Alencherry and some 40 bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church to discuss the state of minority communities in India’s diverse society.

Kenney then became the first Canadian minister ever to make an official visit to Goa. He met with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and discussed the success of Canada’s large Goan community. He also met Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão.

In Delhi, Kenney met with Indian Home Affairs Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to discuss joint efforts to combat immigration fraud. He also met with leading Indian business and political leaders at a reception to discuss growing opportunities for bilateral trade and investment.

Kenney met with officials at Canada’s High Commission in New Delhi, Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) largest overseas office, to thank staff for processing record numbers of visas for Indian nationals visiting Canada.

While in New Delhi, Kenney presented flowers at Shri Lakshmi Narayan temple in memory of Jyoti Singh Pandey, the victim of a recent brutal gang rape.

In Amritsar, Punjab, he announced that in 2012, CIC’s Chandigarh office issued a record number of temporary resident visas to Punjabi visitors to Canada in 2012 – 17,608, or nearly three times the number issued in 2005. This is thanks in part to greater cooperation with Punjab State officials in combating unethical immigration agents. He also met with Punjab State Minister Bikram Majithia to discuss efforts to combat immigration fraud, and implementation of Punjab’s new Anti-Human Smuggling Act.

While in Amritsar, Kenney visited the Golden Temple with Minister of State Tim Uppal and Member of Parliament Parm Gill.

He completed his visit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, to attend the Vibrant Gujarat 2013 summit, where he was joined by Members of Parliament Patrick Brown and Devinder Shory.

Kenney gave the keynote address at the inaugural Canada-Gujarat Business and Trade Opportunities seminar, promoting investment in Canada, and spoke at the closing plenary of the conference attended by more than 50,000 delegates from 120 countries saying that “just as Gujarat has the strongest economy in India, Canada has the strongest economy in the G-7. Working together, the potential to support each other’s prosperity is boundless.” Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi expressed appreciation for Canada having the largest overseas delegation at the Vibrant Gujarat summit.

Posted: Jan 31, 2013

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