By Virginia Stratford
A sustained Canada-U.S. relationship is critical in pushing forward a global agenda, urged the Canadian ambassador to the U.S. in a lecture on Friday, Oct. 6, 2006.
“We are stronger together and more competitive than we are apart,” said his Excellency Michael Wilson, Canadian ambassador to the U.S. “We have a shared history, a great respect for each other and we have a great understanding and appreciation of the importance of democratic values and freedom.”
His lecture, “On Common Ground: The Dynamic of the Canadian-American Relationship,” addressed how Canada and the U.S. are building a foundation for democracy across the globe.
“[The] rule of law, an understanding how a judicial system works, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion are the foundations for democracy,” Wilson said. “If they are not in place, then the normal democratic process simply [does] not work effectively.”
In an effort to promote democracy, Canada now plays a more influential role in developing the economies of other countries, including Afghanistan, Cuba, Haiti and Sudan, he said.
“Afghanistan is the recipient of more foreign aide than any other country,” Wilson said. “We are actively engaged in development assistance to rebuild a nation that has been marred in conflict for too long.”
Wilson became ambassador of Canada to the U.S. on March 13, 2006. He was a guest of the Asael E. and Maydell C. Palmer Annual Lecture Series sponsored by Canadian Studies and the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.