Statement - Minister Duclos strengthens bilateral relationships with productive visits to Argentina and Chile

GATINEAU, QC, May 19, 2017 /CNW/ - From Employment and Social Development Canada

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, made the following statement following his visit to Argentina and Chile:

"Canada continues to enjoy a positive and productive relationship with Argentina and Chile. As Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the focus of the visit was to meet with government officials, civil society and academic representatives to discuss policies, best practices and approaches to build an inclusive society by supporting communities, including the most vulnerable, and ensuring that all citizens can participate in and contribute to society—a key priority for the Government of Canada.

With this visit, we were able to follow through with several of the commitments made during Prime Minister Trudeau's visit to Argentina in November 2016. We were also able to reaffirm Canada's commitment to strengthening ties with Argentina by highlighting several areas of common interest and collaborating closely on international and regional issues to foster democracy, pluralism and human rights, and to promote inclusive growth.

I am certain that this visit will help strengthen our bilateral relationship by attending the signing of the Canada–Argentina customs mutual assistance agreement along with Vice-President Gabriela, as well as through the announcement of the conclusion of negotiations for the social security agreement.

I also had the pleasure of co-hosting the Canada–Argentina Symposium on Social Inclusion with Ms. Carolina Stanley, Minister of Social Development of Argentina. I wish to acknowledge the great level of collaboration and quality of the panelists from both our countries which led to thoughtful exchanges and informative discussions on: ageing populations; growing inequalities; and access to services such as housing and the labour market; to reduce poverty and move away from exclusion to inclusion.

In Chile, I also had very productive discussions on poverty reduction while contributing to their economic growth, integration of immigrants in the labour market as well as access to quality housing solutions so that people, families and communities can improve their quality of life. Further, in light of the ongoing discussions regarding their pension system, there was a great interest on Canada's pension system which is often cited as a model. I also had the opportunity to address a keynote speech at the University of Chile about challenges and best practices on social policy, including pension reform.

I am pleased with the outcomes of this visit and the exchange of lessons learned. I was inspired by the excellent work being done in Argentina and Chile to reduce poverty, improve housing and promote a more inclusive society. These types of international exchanges with like-minded countries provide us with an opportunity to share best practices and innovative approaches on areas of mutual interest, and ensure better policy and decision making.

Across the globe, vulnerable groups of people face obstacles that prevent them from participating in their society's political, economic and social life, and Canada is no different. What we have learned from our partners abroad will help to inform the work currently underway to develop the National Housing Strategy and the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy. I look forward to our continued discussions as we work together to build more inclusive society for all."

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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