Dear friends of Germany,
Germany and Canada are linked through a longstanding cooperation as friends and partners, which is manifested on international level through partnership projects and a constant bilateral exchange. Common values and a shared interest in democracy, human rights, the environment and climate change bring us closer than ever together on a global level. This is why Canada, and in particular the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, are indispensable partners for us, which is reinforced by direct cooperation with a number of German states.
However, the good relations extend beyond the political field to business, science and culture. The close economic, scientific and cutural cooperation is also strengthened by the presence of several German institutions such as the DAAD, the German International School Toronto (GIST) and the Goethe-Institut. Promoting the exchange between Ontario and Germany as well as the advancement of German culture and language is also due in particular to the fact that almost 10% of Ontarians have German roots.
For many, Canada is the best practice standard of a multicultural or intercultural country. What has been discussed in Germany for many years is something we experience here in Ontario: migration and integration. In Germany, too, almost 20% of the population now has a migratory background. Nevertheless, it remains a crucial and at the same time challenging task to enable immigrants to integrate into German society. How such a process can succeed, is something we experience in Toronto and many other cities in the province of Ontario; we are all one ingredient of this “salad bowl”. That is why it is good and important that Canadian and German politicians exchange views on this and other issues more intensively than ever.
Because we experience here in Canada how wonderful an open, warm-hearted and tolerant society works, it is up to each and every one of us to take a decisive stand against marginalizing populism and to stand up for respectful coexistence - both in Germany and in Canada. We all have a responsibility for the society we want to live in, and which we are creating for our children.
Society, politics, the environment and international relations will continue to confront us with challenges in the coming years, so that we must learn from each other. The goal of my posting here is to incorporate the valuable experience of mutual exchange into our diplomatic relations.
I am very much looking forward to my term as Consul General in Toronto and to an active discourse with you.
Thomas E. Schultze