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Marking Canada Day
   
A crowd of officials, businesspeople and expats attended a reception thrown by the newly appointed Canadian ambassador to Poland, Alexandra Bugailiskis, at her residence in Warsaw to mark Canada Day.

Canada Day is celebrated on July 1 to mark the enactment of the July 1, 1867, British North America Act which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire.

In a speech, Bugailiskis said Canada Day this year was a special celebration as Canada has just assumed the two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by eight nations that have territory within the Arctic Circle: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Bugailiskis also said that, in her short time in Poland, she has come to appreciate the range and depth of Canadian-Polish relations, including the fact that Poland has operated a polar research station since 1957 in the Arctic and that Cracow recently hosted a conference of 300 polar scientists.

Today, there are nearly 1 million Canadians of Polish origin. The first Polish migrant arrived in Canada in 1686.

“Polish Canadians are an integral part of our history and will be an essential part of our future,” said Bugailiskis. “The Canada-Poland relationship was forged in the great battles of World War II, where Canadian and Polish soldiers fought valiantly alongside each other in Italy, Normandy, Belgium and the Netherlands.”

Bugailiskis said there were new and exciting opportunities for future cooperation, especially in the aeronautics sector, where Poland is developing quickly.

Bugailiskis noted that Poland is Canada’s largest trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe and that Canada has a large number of brand-name companies with an active presence in Poland, and a two-way trade of $1.6 billion.

Bugailiskis said that “Canada and Poland are old friends, with new ambitions and ideas. And I look forward in the years ahead to working with you to build a strong, free and prosperous future for our citizens.”

Jolanta Wolska