Visit to Canada by His Excellency Josef Saller,
President of the Federal Council of the Republic of Austria,
and a parliamentary delegation

From June 5 to 10, 2016, His Excellency Josef Saller, President of the Federal Council of the Republic of Austria and a parliamentary delegation, led the visit to Ottawa and Toronto at the invitation of the Honourable George Furey, Q.C., Speaker of the Senate. The delegation included Ingrid Winkler and Ernst Gödl, vice‑presidents of the Bundesrat; Edgar Mayer and Monika Müllwerth, Federal Councillors; Susanne Bachmann, Director of the Bundesrat; and Brigitte Brenner, Head of the European Union and International Services of the Austrian Parliament. His Excellency Arno Riedel, Ambassador of Austria to Canada, accompanied the delegation to Ottawa and Toronto.

In Ottawa, the delegation met with the following people:

  • The Honourable George Furey, Q.C., Speaker of the Senate;
  • The Honourable Geoff Regan, PC, MP, Speaker of the House of Commons;
  • The Honourable John McCallum, PC, MP, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship;
  • The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, PC, MP, Minister of International Trade;
  • The Honourable Grant Mitchell, Senator, Government Liaison in the Senate;
  • The Honourable Raynell Andreychuk, Senator, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Committee members;
  • The Honourable Joan Fraser, Senator, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, and Committee members;
  • The Honourable Mark Eyking, PC, MP, Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade, and Committee members;
  • The Honourable Larry Bagnell, PC, MP, Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, and Committee members;
  • Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP, Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, and Committee members;
  • Scott Simms, MP, President of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, and association members;
  • The Honourable Pana Merchant, Senator, Chair of the Canada‑Austria Parliamentary Friendship Group, and group members;
  • The Honourable Perrin Beatty, PC, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce;
  • Caroline Andrew, Ph. D., Executive Committee member, Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership.

In Toronto, the delegation participated in a round table with Ontario MPPs, and visited the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and met with the speaker, the Honourable Dave Levac, MPP. It also met with representatives of the Ministry of Education (Ontario) and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.

The visit helped strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and parliaments. The discussions concerned matters of common interest, including bilateral relations; the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU); immigration and refugees; education; and a number of issues related to parliamentary governance, procedure and administration.