Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Canada, 26 October 2016
Inter-parliamentary cooperation has been a key area of Kazakhstan-Canada partnership for many years. In October 2012, a parliamentary delegation led by Mr. Nurlan Nigmatulin, the Speaker of Kazakhstan’s Majilis, lower chamber of the Parliament, visited Canada and held talks with the Governor General, Prime Minister, and the Speakers of Senate and House of Commons. In September 2014, the first ever Canadian parliamentary delegation led by Mr. Leon Benoit, then-Chair of the House Natural Resource Committee, paid a visit to Kazakhstan.
Following the parliamentary elections in Canada in 2015 and in Kazakhstan in March 2016, Kazakhstan-Canada Parliamentary Cooperation Group was relaunched with new members. On October 26, 2016, Ambassador Konstantin Zhigalov and the Parliamentary Group’s members held the Group’s inaugural meeting to reinvigorate bilateral relations and identifying new avenues of cooperation between two countries.
The Group will be led by two Co-Chairs: The Honourable Robert Nault, Chair of the House Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Senator James Cowan. The inaugural meeting was attended by Senator David Wells, Mr. James Maloney, Chair of the House Standing Committee on Natural Resources, The Honourable Candice Bergen, MP, The Honourable Gerry Ritz, MP, The Honourable Peter Kent, MP, Mr. Randy Hoback, Vice-Chair of the House Standing Committee on International Trade. A number of other MPs and Senators have also agreed to join the Group’s activities in the nearest future.
At the meeting, paying a special tribute to the past achievements of Kazakh-Canadian relations in political, economic, cultural spheres, and praising the current level of cooperation, including but not limited to the recent meetings of President Nursultan Nazarbayev with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Ministers Erlan Idrissov and Stephane Dion, establishment of Kazakh-Canadian Business Council, Ambassador Zhigalov emphasized the importance of setting new goals and targets to be achieved in the years to come.
Members of Canadian Parliament expressed their commitment to strengthening Kazakhstan-Canada partnership ahead of the symbolic dates of the 25th Anniversary of Kazakhstan's Independence in 2016, 25th Anniversary of Kazakh-Canadian diplomatic relations and 150th Birthday of Canada in 2017. The members agreed to join efforts to organize exchange visits of the two countries’ parliamentary delegations in 2017.
Participation of Canadian companies in the International Exhibition EXPO-2017, which will be held from June to September 2017 in Astana, arranging high-level visits and promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue, business links and people-to-people ties between the two countries were among the issues discussed. A decision was made to establish the Group’s Secretariat to further facilitate common efforts aimed at building an even stronger Kazakhstan-Canada partnership.