Georgetown, Guyana – (March 7, 2019) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, this morning, met with Mr. Michael Grant, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas in the Ministry of Global Affairs of Canada at the Ministry of the Presidency.
During the meeting, the two discussed matters of mutual interest, including the Guyana- Venezuela border controversy; the migration of Venezuelans and its effect on neighbouring countries; Canada and Guyana’s bilateral relationship and the assistance given to Guyana in a number of areas, including support to manage the influx of Venezuelan migrants.
Canada has donated CAD$46,000 to the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) to support Guyana’s efforts in accommodating the Venezuelan migrants. Minister Harmon thanked the Government of Canada for the contribution, even as he noted that the Guyana Government wishes to take a holistic approach to address the issue and would therefore welcome any kind of support in this endeavour.
“Our intention is to provide a better facility to these migrants and that means we must provide a place where they can live and work. We would therefore, welcome any additional support than can be given in this area,” he said.
Minister Harmon also welcomed Mr. Grant to Guyana while noting that the two nations have shared a strong and fertile relationship for over 50 years.
“We value and cherish the relationship we have shared with Canada over the years and as you know, outside of the United States, the majority of Guyanese are settled in Canada. We also have strong collaboration in several areas and as such Guyana can only look forward to strengthening this relationship,” he said.
Mr. Grant expressed his appreciation to the Minister for his remarks. He also said that he recently took up office here and as such, he is endeavouring to familiarise himself with all of the areas that fall within his remit.
“We value very much the relationship between the two countries as well as the Guyanese community. While it is a shared population, it is so central for Canada as well. We are very excited about the relationship between the two countries and as you rightly said, we have collaborated extensively over the years,” he noted.
Additionally, Mr. Grant also took the opportunity to express his country’s support and solidarity with Guyana on the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy. He noted that Canada has made its position clear on this matter and this stance has not changed.
The Assistant Deputy Minister was accompanied to the meeting by Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Ms. Lilian Chatterjee.