Niagara Economic Development, in partnership with the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce, and Niagara College, hosted the European Union Consul General group yesterday to celebrate European Union (EU) day.
EU day takes place on May 9 every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. To mark the occasion, a flag raising was held in Niagara-on-the-Lake at the Old Courthouse, which signifies the EU’s motto, “United in diversity”.
Additionally, the group visited Niagara College’s Wine Visitor + Education Centre to learn about the cutting-edge innovation happening at the post-secondary institution, enjoyed a tour and tasting at Spirit in Niagara Distillery, and took part in a reception at the Prince of Wales Hotel where dignitaries, and Niagara-on-the-Lake business owners were given the opportunity to network and discuss European trade and market opportunities.
The European Union Consul General in Toronto and the French European Union Presidency also presented a cheque for $2,000 to Niagara College which will support students impacted by the war in Ukraine.
This European Union Consul General group is made up of 20 countries, which allows Niagara Economic Development, the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara College to showcase the benefits and advantages of investing and living in the Niagara Region. The European Union (EU) is a strategic partner for Canada. It is a true example of cooperation among states, and represents hope for democracy and peaceful pluralism. The relationship between the EU and Canada is based on shared values, close cooperation, and strong people-to-people ties.
Canada is one of the EU’s oldest international partners and today, around 25 million people who share some European descent call Canada home, a majority of them in Ontario. These communities continue to shape vibrant and diverse communities, and represent one of the largest European diasporas in the world.
The EU is also the second-largest trading partner of Ontario. Through the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), both partners are building trade and investment, and creating opportunities and jobs for people on both sides of the Atlantic.
The CETA also marks an important chapter in the relationship between all the partners, deepening cooperation on an even wider range of issues, and establishing regular meetings between leaders, ministers, and senior officials.
"The relationship between the European Union and Canada is based on shared values, close cooperation, and strong people-to-people ties. Both EU and Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) five years ago that has eliminated tariffs on 98 per cent of all goods and services. As the representative of the French presidency of the Council of Europe, I am extremely grateful to Niagara Economic Development, the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce and Niagara College for accepting my proposal to bring together all the consul generals of EU countries to the iconic Niagara region for the first time since we celebrate EU Day. I am sure that this visit will strengthen awareness of the European Union not just in Ontario but all over Canada and help build stronger relations between EU and Canada during the years to come."
~ Tudor Alexis, Consul General of France in Toronto and the representative of the French presidency of the Council of Europe
"On behalf of Regional Council, we are pleased to have hosted the European Union Consul General group in Niagara. The opportunity to continue building our relationship with the EU and showcase all that Niagara has to offer was both productive and illuminating. The group saw first hand the innovation taking place at Niagara College and the beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is my hope that this event will be the first of many where we build upon our shared values and continue to find ways to collaborate and develop new partnerships that benefit all."
~ Jim Bradley, Regional Chair
"To celebrate European Union day, our team wanted to show unity through partnerships with Niagara College, Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake to welcome the European Union Consul Generals of Toronto. The diversity of opportunities Niagara holds will be shown to our European counterparts, promoting dialogue and making open borders possible for business."
~ George Spezza, Director, Niagara Economic Development
"Town Council and Staff were delighted to showcase Niagara-on-the-Lake for this year's EU Day. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a unique, culturally significant place of heritage, making it the perfect spot to host such a wonderful event. Thank you to everyone who travelled here to be a part of this day, and thank you to all those involved in the planning. It was a truly lovely event."
~ Betty Disero, Lord Mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake
"Niagara College is pleased to welcome the European Union Consul General group. We are proud to showcase the culinary and beverage expertise of our students and faculty, and our support for innovation here in Niagara and beyond. We are grateful for the remarkable generosity of the EU group and for their donation that will support NC students impacted by the war in Ukraine."
~ Dr. Marc Nantel, Vice-President, Research and External Relations, Niagara College