Ladies and gentlemen,
The Queen and I wish to express our deep gratitude for the warm reception we have been given here in the Province of Ontario. This has been a day full of new experiences in a dynamic part of Canada.
We have met winegrowers and industrialists, ice hockey players, and authors, students and researchers. But we have also met the Swedish community in Toronto. In Southern Ontario there are many Swedish immigrants, from long ago as well as quite recent. Your universities and research institutions have a strong tradition of active cooperation with their Swedish counterparts.
Most of the subsidiaries of Swedish companies in Canada are also represented in Ontario. These include such well-known brands as IKEA, SKF, AstraZeneca, Sandvik and Alfa Laval. Almost twenty years ago – when we were here on our first State Visit – these subsidiaries were often lead by Swedes. Today their management is mainly Canadian.
Right now a delegation of ten Swedish business leaders is visiting Canada to reinforce the already well-established ties with Canadian business. But they are also looking at new business opportunities. Today the delegation visited the exciting Durham region.
Another delegation of Swedish entrepreneurs in the field of environment technology is also visiting the country right now. Swedish companies and municipalities have a long tradition of exchange of experience with Southern Ontario on what is usually called the “sustainable city concept". Tomorrow morning I will participate in a conference in Toronto on how to build cities that are sustainable in ecological and social terms.
Since the last time we were here we see enormous progress. No wonder since the Toronto area is considered to be one of the fastest growing regions in the whole of North America, much thanks to immigration from all parts of the world which has enriched this dynamic region and created favourable results.
In order to enhance community spirit and co-operation in the region, a number of new cultural institutions are being built such as a new Opera House, a Conservatory and a number of museums.
This afternoon the Queen visited the well-known International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront Centre where some Swedish authors also are participating. An important theme of a round-table discussion was children's right to read and to share in cultural experiences.
I know, Lieutenant-Governor, that you have started a project in northern Ontario to encourage the native children and young people to face life and faith in the future. Reading will help them to break down their isolation and show them a way out into the world. The Queen and I would like to donate a number of Swedish children's books, translated into English, to your project. Lieutenant-Governor, we hope that they can be used in these activities.
It is my hope that relations between Canada and Sweden, including the Province of Ontario, will continue to develop, to the benefit and pleasure of everyone.
I wish you continued success in your office as Lieutenant-Governor. I also hope that the whole Province of Ontario will have a prosperous future and development.
Thank you once again for your great hospitality.
Skål and thank you.