Visit of KAS Chairman Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert and Dr. Gerhard Wahlers to Canada - Foundation Office Canada
Visit of KAS Chairman Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert and Dr. Gerhard Wahlers to Canada
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On July 15, the Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert, and the Deputy Secretary General, Dr. Gerhard Wahlers, concluded their two-day visit to Canada, which this time took them to the province of British Columbia. In Vancouver and in the provincial capital of Victoria, they met with professors from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of Victoria (uVic). The focus was on evaluating current domestic and foreign policy issues from a Canadian perspective: immigration and integration problems were discussed, as were Canada's perception of Europe and coming to terms with the injustices committed against indigenous peoples since the 19th century. The visit also focused on high-tech issues, with exchanges taking place with a leading global maritime technology company and the province of British Columbia's Digital Supercluster. The "Innovation Commissioner" of British Columbia was also among the discussion partners of the KAS leadership and explained strategies of innovation promotion in one of the most economically active regions of Canada. Due to the proximity of Canada's West Coast to Asia, the interpretations of Chinese political actions by proven Canadian experts were also of great interest. Finally, the KAS delegation met with the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson (see photo). In the context of the upcoming visit of the German Federal Chancellor and the Federal Minister of Economics to Canada in August, which will focus on energy issues of the bilateral relationship, the meeting was of high political importance. Wilkinson, as the responsible departmental minister, explained to Prof. Lammert and Dr. Wahlers, among other things, the motives behind the Canadian federal government's decision, announced in early July, to release Russian-owned gas turbines that had been stranded at a repair facility in Montreal as a result of Canadian sanctions against Moscow. The agreement to return the turbines also allows them to be imported, repaired and re-exported for a period of up to two years and is not without controversy in Canada, particularly among the traditionally strong Ukrainian minority there as well as the conservative parliamentary opposition. Wilkinson praised the atmosphere of German-Canadian cooperation in energy and other policy areas. He called for a more pragmatic approach by Germany, particularly on issues of climate-friendly energy production, and for his part saw great potential for further cooperation in many sectors.