Canada India Foundation announces 50 Member Delegation to Vibrant Gujarat & Canada India Healthcare Forum
Toronto, Canada – December 30, 2014: At a media event held at the Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto today, Canada India Foundation (CIF) launched its ambitious 2015 program with two major announcements, the CIF delegation to Vibrant Gujarat 2015, Jan 11-13, and the Canada India Healthcare Forum 2015, May 19-20, in Toronto.
CIF’s 50 member strong delegation to Vibrant Gujarat will be led by Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Government of Canada. Co-leader of the delegation will be CIF’s Chair, Dr. V.I. “Lucky” Lakshmanan. Honourable Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Government of Canada will be the second cabinet minister from the federal government to be part of the delegation, which will also include Members of Parliament, Patrick Brown and Devinder Shory, co-chairs of the Canada India Interparliamentary Friendship Group. Honourable Dipika Damerla, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Government of Ontario, and the first woman of Indian origin to become minister at either federal or provincial level in Canada, will represent Ontario in the delegation. More than 15 CEOs as well as other business executives will make up one of the strongest Canadian delegations to visit India.
Canada India Healthcare Forum 2015 will be the 5th themed forum organized by CIF, following successful forums on Energy, Mining, Agriculture and Infrastructure. It will bring together government representatives and healthcare experts from the two countries to discuss ways for raising the healthcare bar in India, utilizing Canadian expertise and experience while understanding any challenges that may lie in the way. Areas of healthcare to be covered include Diseases prevalent among South Asians, Rehabilitation, Pharmaceuticals including generic drugs, Rural (native and tribal) healthcare, India’s traditional healthcare solutions and many more. Organizing partners of CIF will be the Toronto Rehab Institute –UHN, and Indo-Canadian Business Chamber, based in India. Several healthcare related organizations have already confirmed or expressed interest in being part of the Forum. The discussions will be crystallized into a set of action-oriented recommendations to the governments.
Welcoming media, delegates, healthcare sector representatives and dignitaries, Dr. Lakshmanan stressed the important role CIF has played since its inception to promote stronger Canada-India ties, by focusing on the public policy perspective. Minister Damerla, who will not only be a member of the delegation to Gujarat, but also a speaker in the Healthcare Forum, applauded CIF for recognizing the importance of linking Canada’s service sector to India, through the healthcare forum. She said she looked forward to her visit to Gujarat to meet with the Minister of Health and other healthcare sector leaders there, in order to understand India’s healthcare challenges and solutions.
Congratulating CIF’s leaders on their initiative, India’s Consul General Shri Akhilesh Mishra also thanked the Government of Canada for being among the first countries to recognize the potential of engaging with Gujarat with the then Chief Minister and current Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, He said that, however, Canada needed to step it up more or run the risk of being left behind other countries in the rage to engage India in business initiatives. He said MOUs and meetings are no longer enough and exhorted the delegates to go with result-oriented objectives.
MP Patrick Brown, a long-time friend of Gujarat and India, as well as CIF since its inception, said that it was CIF, rather than the government bureaucracy, which had pushed for engagement with Gujarat from the beginning, an initiative which has paid off well for Canada with each Vibrant Gujarat event. He encouraged the delegates to take full advantage of the visit, not only from a business perspective, but also to take in the incredible diversity of India, from backwaters of Kerala to ice-hockey in Ladakh.
Minister Chris Alexander, Minister Kellie Leitch and MP Devinder Shory from the Government of Canada, as well as Honourable Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-term Care, Government of Ontario, also sent in messages of congratulations to CIF on the occasion of the media event. In his message, Minister Alexander said that the Government of Canada was proud to take part in Vibrant Gujarat seeking to capitalize on business opportunities, share experiences and trade in ideas. He highlighted the fact that in 2013, Canada issued 130,000 visitor visas and 33,000 permanent resident cards to applicants from India. Minister Leitch said, “As Canada’s Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, I am very excited to be part of Canada’s delegation to Vibrant Gujarat this January. I am confident that this summit will provide Canada and India an opportunity to build upon the strong partnership that exists between our two countries” She also said that, as a medical doctor, she was looking forward to participating in the Healthcare Forum. MP Devinder Shory said, “I am very excited to be part of this delegation. I am thankful to the leadership of CIF for their strong and continued advocacy to promote growing the relationship between our two great nations. I am looking forward to working with CIF to enhance and strengthen this relationship. “
Minister Hoskins, who has agreed to be Opening Speaker at the healthcare Forum, congratulated CIF for organizing the Healthcare Forum in partnership with the Toronto Rehab Institute. He said in his message, “the forum will highlight social welfare perspectives in healthcare, along with economic collaboration opportunities. The focus of the forum is of great interest to me as a physician, as a social advocate and as Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. The forum will provide a wonderful opportunity to promote the development of public policies aimed at stronger ties between Canada and India. My sincere thanks go to CIF for taking a leadership role in harnessing the collective influence of the Indo-Canadian community “.
The event offered delegates to Vibrant Gujarat the opportunity to exchange ideas with each other as well as CIF members and dignitaries on making their visit successful.
About Canada India Foundation (www.canadaindia.org)
Canada India Foundation is a national, non-profit, non-partisan non-governmental organization established in 2007 to foster support for stronger relations between Canada and India; to educate Canadians on the changing face of India and to increase the participation of Indo-Canadians in the public policy process in Canada. CIF’s founding members include entrepreneurs, senior Canadian business executives and top tier professionals. CIF plays a key role in Canada India relations through regular dialogues with representatives of both countries as well as organization of theme based policy forums