For Immediate Release
Ottawa – July 2, 2019 – Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament (MP) for Vaughan-Woodbridge and Vice-Chair of Canada-Europe and Chair of the Canada-Italy Interparliamentary Groups has returned from leading a delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and Rome, Italy.
Mr. Sorbara was Head of the delegation, comprised of members of parliament and senators. Canada was partaking in the PACE meetings to represent regarding the Istanbul Convention, combatting violence against women and gender equality.
“Women’s economic equality is a key component of gender equality. Closing the gender wage gap would benefit not just women, but also the global economy. A recent study indicates that if women and men were to participate equally in the economy, up to $28 trillion would be added to the annual global GDP in 2025,” stated Mr. Sorbara.
The delegation continued onto Rome, Italy, where they were greeted by Canada’s Ambassador to Italy, Alexandra Bugaliskis, and conducted a day of meetings at Palazzo Montecitorio, beginning with the Honourable Marta Grande (MP, Five-Star Movement). The second meeting was scheduled with the Honourable Andrea Colletti, President of the Italy-Canada Bilateral Friendship Section of the Chamber of Deputies. The discussion surrounded a potential visit to Canada, the revised Youth Mobility Agreement as well as highlighting several initiatives to strengthen bilateral, while emphasizing the importance of maintaining strong ties between Italy and Canada.
The subsequent meeting was with the President of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Vito Rosario Petrocelli where MP Sorbara, alongside the delegation discussed Italy-EU relations and Canada-Italy’s cooperation. Details on immigration were shared, with how integration is handled in Canada and how we can work together to ensure a robust and legal process for immigration.
The day entailed a working lunch with UN Hugh Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) where the discussions surrounded the current migration situation in the Mediterranean area, and Italy’s role in resettling refugees and Canada’s ongoing commitment to assist refuges across the world.
The final meeting of the day was with Senator Ricardo Merlo, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and founder of the Associative Movement Italians Abroad (MAIE), where there was a robust exchange on the importance of increasing the ties between Italy and Canada, and how the revised Youth Mobility Agreement reinforces the mandates of both countries.
“The cultural ties between our two countries are strong, and the final process for the revision of the Youth Mobility Agreement represents a further strengthening in the relationship between Canada and Italy. With millions of Italian-Canadians in Canada, this will be culturally advantageous to the youth in our country and will afford young individuals from both countries to mutually benefit on the exchange,” stated Mr. Sorbara.
To complete the visit in Rome, the delegation also visited the Rome War Cemetery, where Mr. Sorbara placed a wreath symbolizing and honouring the Canadian lives lost in the WWII Italian Campaign. In addition, the delegation met with the Food and Agriculture Organization to speak about the important work done in Canada, while directly hearing the efforts undertaken to mitigate the impact of agriculture on climate change, as well as shared standards for food safety and fair production systems.
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