Mr. Speaker, British Columbia is Canada's gateway to the Asia Pacific, home to about half of the world's total population, production and total consumption.
In the words of the Prime Minister “Canada knows that Asia Pacific is the future”. Hence Canada launched the Year of Asia Pacific on January 8, 1997 in Vancouver.
The year succeeded in firmly establishing Canada's credentials as a Pacific nation, forging stronger and more numerous human and economic links between Canada and its partners in the region.
To sustain this legacy, the Prime Minister announced last November Canada's contribution of $4 million toward the establishment of the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. This state of the art conference facility, the first of its kind in North America, shall be named Asia Pacific Hall.
Indeed British Columbia can take pride in providing the home for this enduring legacy of Canada's Year of Asia Pacific.