by Al-Jerome A. Chede
CANADA – Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America, Canada and Mexico, George S.W. Patten Sr. on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, presented his official letters of credence to the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency Julie Payette, during a very colorful ceremony that took place at the Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Canada. Governor General Payette is the federal Vice-Regal representative of the Canadian Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
During his presentation, Ambassador Patten, extolled the cordial relationship subsisting between Canada and Liberia. He pointed out, that strengthening the bi-lateral relationship was crucial to the human and infrastructural development agenda of President George M. Weah. Ambassador Patten informed the Governor that President Weah is looking forward to enhanced trading between the two countries.
“Liberia is encouraging Canada to invest in agriculture, mining, fisheries and in our young tourism industry”, the ambassador passionately intoned. He thanked the Canadian government for its continued support to Liberia through women empowerment as well as technical assistance through scholarship.
Ambassador Patten concluded by calling on the Canadian government to assist Liberia with more scholarship to help beef up the country’s human resource capacity. Speaking briefly during the occasion, Her Royal Highness, Payette declared that Canada was opened for business and urged all countries to take advantage of the immense socio-economic opportunities that Canada provides. Liberia was the first amongst five countries that presented credentials during the occasion. The other countries were Namibia, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Kyrgyz, and Maldives.
Speaking earlier at a townhall meeting held in London, Ontario, on Saturday, March 7, 2020, Ambassador Patten observed that Liberians have been spectators in the development of their own country for many years. He encouraged them to have faith in their people and get involved in the economic revival of their native land. Ambassador Patten revealed that President Weah was investing heavily in road connectivity and infrastructure throughout the country with the aim of lifting his people out of the deep abyss of poverty. He recognized the enormous challenges inherited by the government but quickly assured his fellow countrymen, that President Weah was determined to address those challenges head on and improve the lives of his people.
The astute Liberian Diplomat sounded a clarion call for Liberians to speak positively about their country and demonstrate patriotism and love for the motherland. He warned against spreading bad and false stories that could harm the country on social media platforms.
The Ambassador promised to work tirelessly to seek an amicable solution to the much-expressed division existing in the Liberian community in Canada.
Remarking, one of the community leaders, Mrs. Nancy Reeves thanked Ambassador Patten for visiting with them and called on all Liberian organizations to put aside their differences. “Let us all work with the Ambassador to advance the Pro-poor Agenda of H.E. George Weah,” Pres. Reeves urged.
Ambassador S.W. Patten, Sr. was accompanied on the trip by First Secretary, Josiah K. Domah.