Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, cabinet secretary Tzvi Hauser and many other dignitaries participated in a July 10 reception at the Israel Museum marking Canada Day and celebrating Canada-Israel relations.
The Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA), the new unified body for the public affairs agencies of the Canadian Jewish community, hosted the reception.
Canada’s ambassador to Israel, Paul Hunt, thanked CIJA for hosting the dinner in Jerusalem, and spoke of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s commitment to defending Israel “no matter the political cost.”
During the reception, Hunt and Lieberman signed a formal bilateral agreement, renewing the mandate of the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation (CIIRDF) for another five years. The foundation encourages collaborative research and development between private sector companies in the two countries, with a focus on the commercialization of new technologies. Since its establishment in 1994, the foundation has supported more than 70 projects to date and has yielded more than $1 billion in revenue for the participating start-ups in Israel and Canada.
On Sunday, Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, announced that Canada had allocated $5 million to the CIIRDF.
“This $5 million contribution will continue to build on Canada’s collaborative science and technology relationship with Israel,” Fast said. “Canada is committed to supporting bilateral research projects that have the potential for commercialization and job-creating research and innovation for both countries.”
Speaking at the Canada Day reception, attended by more than 140 Israeli and Canadian government leaders, academics, businesspeople and community leaders, Moshe Ronen, the former head of the recently disbanded Canada-Israel Committee, said: “This event serves as a much sought after platform to give expression to our deep appreciation for the extraordinary support Canada has demonstrated for Israel over many decades, and to celebrate the warmth and depth of the friendship between our two democracies. The principled stand that has characterized the policies of the Harper government, in particular, serves as the benchmark