Canada is open to trade and immigration, says PM Trudeau

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on February 19, 2018 Published on February 19, 2018

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his family try out the traditional ‘charkha’ at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on Monday   -  PTI

Differences can be a source of strength, says Prime Minister at IIM-A townhall

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau on Monday paid a visit to Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and interacted with students and academicians at the Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

At the management institute, the Prime Minister underlined the potential of bilateral trade between India and Canada to grow from $8 billion in goods and $2 billion in services currently. Canada was open to immigration and trade, he said.

Trudeau was accompanied by his wife Shophie and three children Xavier, Hadrien and Ella-Grace Margaret as they paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the Gandhi Ashram here. Impressed and inspired by the place, the Canadian Prime Minister expressed the need peace, humanity and truth in the today’s world.

“A beautiful place of peace, humanity and truth, that is as needed today as ever,” Trudeau wrote in the visitor’s book at the Ashram.

The family visited Akshardham Temple in State capital Gandhinagar before the Canadian Prime Minister addressed a townhall at IIM-A.

“When you think of natural connections between India and Canada, especially in the field of agriculture or pulses, where we have slight challenges. There are potential of growth,” he said in his nearly an hour-long address.


On the issue of immigration as the global leaders are pulling up the barriers to protect local interests, Trudeau stated that Canada believed that the new reality for 21st century is going to be heterogenous societies. “..and the biggest challenge we are going to have as species is doing something that India and Canada have done fairly well — that is to understand how differences can become a source of strength and not weakness...As you get more pluralistic, language, religion, ethnicity, ideology should be anchored in shared values, that society subscribes to,” he said.

Trudeau shared his government’s vision and policy to open its borders to refugees and pointed towards “investing significant amounts in integration, language acquisition and healthcare for them which is contributing to the country's economy”.

Taking inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi, he said, “The idea of trusting in others, trusting in truth of others, and standing incredibly strongly in principles and fundamental beliefs is something as necessary, if not more necessary, now than it was 50 or 100 years ago,” he said.

The Canadian Prime Minister expressed the “frustrating” nature of the media at times, but he also underlined the importance of media to bring out the aspects where the governments go wrong.

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Published on February 19, 2018
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