Created: 10 October 2018
The Canadian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Janice Charette, visited Goole last Thursday. The High Commissioner was invited by Andrew, who serves as the Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Canada, responsible for growing trade and investment between the UK and Canada.
The visit began at Goole Academy, where Andrew and Janice took part in a Q&A with students, this followed a visit to Snaith Priory Church to meet local residents and tour the centuries old church. After that, Andrew and the High Commissioner joined local Councillors, Caroline Fox and John Barrett, at Pollington Church, where they laid wreaths at the grave of one of the Canadian Airmen who died whilst serving at RAF Snaith during World War Two. The visit ended with a meeting with ABP, who are largely owned by Canadian pension funds, and a tour of the dock facility to discuss trade issues.
Following the visit, Andrew said, "I've been recovering from a nasty bout of suspected food poisoning but bit it was still an absolute delight to welcome Janice, who serves as the Canadian Government's official representative in the UK. I work closely with the High Commission in my Trade Envoy role, helping to grow jobs and investment in both the UK and Canada.
Janice was keen to get out and about around the country to see not only the economic opportunities that area available, but to also hear from real people on issues such as Brexit. The view from areas such as ours is very different to the views that may be heard in London and I am so grateful for Janice for taking up my invite.
We had a very enjoyable visit but I found the wreath laying at Pollington Church to be very moving. Many airmen from across the UK and Canada served at RAF Snaith in the war, but four of them are buried in Commonwealth War Graves at Pollington; 2 Brits and 2 Canadians. We spent time at each grave and lead a wreaths in memory of all those who served our nations during that period.
The final stop to meet with ABP was very useful and showcased just how successful our port complex is and how ready we are to do even more in the future. The discussions here focused on Brexit and current trade links and what the future could hold for the port and the area in general.
In our area we already have considerable Canadian investment and economic interests including the biomass which is burned at Drax and the Canadian investment in ABP. These interests support many jobs in our area, but I want to see much more investment and trade between our region and Canada. As we leave the EU and negotiate a new trade deal with Canada, the opportunities for growth are huge and that is why it was great to be able to showcase our area to the Canadian High Commissioner.
I think Janice enjoyed her visit very much which was topped off with a meal at the Percy Arms in Airmyn. We sent her on her way with a nice Yorkshire gift bag so I feel sure she will be back!'