The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, launched on Wednesday an appeal for the political participation of Portuguese emigrants in Canada in elections in Portugal and to the Council of Portuguese Communities.
The Head of State spoke during a meeting with representatives of the Portuguese community in Montreal, the first point of his official visit to CanadaWednesday evening, early morning in Lisbon.
“They must not lose interest in political participation, even in Portugal. During the election of community councilors — a new law has just been released — because it is essential that they participate“, declared Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, emphasizing that “there will be an election for those responsible for the Council of Communities”.
In front of a few hundred people, in the ballroom of a Montreal hotel, the President He asked:
“Do not lose interest, do not distance yourself from the concern of the elections in Portugal. I speak very freely, I no longer have elections ahead of me. It is therefore essential that you participate. Your participation gives you more strength in Portugal and more strength here. It’s essential.”
In this intervention, the Head of State underlined the Canadian Tourism in Portugal and, among these, he highlighted the presence of “Canadian-Portuguese who arrive and who already have a residence or who are starting to have a new residence and who invest many of them in Portugal”.
“It’s a new reality, it’s a growing reality. It’s not just what we owe throughout history to what they send from their savings, it is believing that we must contribute to the Portugal of today and the Portugal of tomorrow“, added Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, saying that “it is invaluable”.
Accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, and representatives of all parliamentary groups – PS, PSD, Chega, Liberal Initiative, PCP and Left Bloc – the President of the Republic declared that “It is Portugal that is united in thanking this community for its years and years and decades of dedication.”
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa mentioned that The last Portuguese president to visit Montreal was “the unforgettable one who will always be remembered” Jorge Sampaio, 22 years ago, in May 2001, for whom he asked for a round of applause.
Concerning the meeting he will have on Friday with the Canadian Prime Minister, he stressed that to this end Justin Trudeau will travel “from a meeting in Ottawa to go to Toronto”which in your opinion demonstrates the the importance he attaches to Luso-Canadian relations and to the Portuguese who reside in Canada.
In honor of all Portuguese residents in Canada, the Head of State awarded the Chancellor of the Consulate General of Portugal in Montreal David Pereira.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, who also spoke at this meeting, spoke about the Government’s support and programs for emigrant communities, highlighting the creation of “diaspora investor status”.
João Gomes Cravinho declared that “the Canada is the 9th country in terms of people with diaspora investor status” and expressed the hope that “this number will continue to grow” and that “the Portuguese diaspora will be associated with the development of Portugal.”
Visit to Canada
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa arrived in Canada on Wednesday, for a five-day visit dedicated to emigrant communities in this country, where nearly 450,000 people of Portuguese origin live, according to the 2021 census.
Before welcoming the Portuguese community, the the head of state took a walk in Montreal.
When he was passing a bookstore, the media asked him about the latest book by former President of the Republic Cavaco Silva, entitled “The Prime Minister and the Art of Governing.”
“I will read it, for sure, but as you know, I never comment on past or future presidents, so I read it, but I do not comment,” replied Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
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