February 24, 2021

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, addressed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) twice during his time in Vienna, Austria, as part of an all-party delegation to the Council of Europe.

In his first address, Mr. Tilson spoke on free trade between Canada and Europe. During his address, Mr. Tilson emphasized the importance of free trade between the two when he stated, “free trade builds strategic platforms for building and expanding commercial ties and the benefit it brings to our businesses and sectors, both manufacturers and producers alike.” He went to state, “This particular agreement enhances opportunities for both continents by opening gateways for accessing significant potential markets and state-of-the-art technology, which in turn, would have an impact on our economies.”

In his second address, Mr. Tilson spoke on Canada’s leading role and many achievements in Afghanistan. Mr. Tilson highlighted several of these achievements for the OSCE and elaborated on education. “Today, close to six million children – more than one-third of them girls – are exercising their internationally-recognized human right to an education; this compares dramatically to just 700,000 children who attended school under the Taliban.”

In terms of Canada’s defence, diplomatic, and development work this year, the Government has focused on priorities of: improving the Afghan government’s ability to assume responsibility for national and provincial security by training and mentoring the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police, as well as strengthening the Afghan government’s institutional capacity to deliver core services and promote economic growth.

Mr. Tilson concluded his address to the OSCE by stating, “Securing peace in the region is without a doubt an essential part of the mission. Canada is supporting Afghan-led efforts which promote outreach and reconciliation in the interest of sustainable peace.”