Canadian high commission celebrates 45th anniversary with ASEAN in a hearty breakfast

The High Commission of Canada in Brunei celebrated Canada Day with a traditional pancake breakfast – complete with maple syrup at the Radisson Hotel.

The informal event also marked the 45th year anniversary of Canada’s relationship with ASEAN as a Dialogue Partner and also a celebration of Canadian literature.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Jeanette Stovel, said in her address that for the past 45 years, Canada has demonstrated its commitment to ASEAN, supporting its central role in bringing peace and prosperity to Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific.

Image: Azrina Zin

“In 2022, as ASEAN and Canada celebrate the 45th anniversary as a Dialogue Partner, Canada’s ambition is to become a Strategic Partner, expand the scope of our cooperation, deepen our engagement where ASEAN and Canada are already invested, and explore new areas of mutual interest,” she said.

She added Canada has and will continue to strive for inclusive economic growth and COVID recovery, including by promoting the economic empowerment of women, and advancing, thanks to Brunei’s leadership in 2021, the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

The High Commissioner also announced the selection of Zubaidah Hussain as the champion of Canada’s #SheLeadsHere campaign in Brunei which aims to open doors for young women advocates and leaders, in all their diversity.

She further said that Zubaidah Hussain has been an unstoppable champion for inclusive and sustainable support for children with disabilities.

“(She is the) Mother of five children, including two who are disabled, Founder of The Impian Project, Founder and Managing Director of Elfera Health & Nursing Care and in her spare time, Legal Adviser and Vice President of Law and Humanity for The Brunei Red Crescent Society, Zubaidah Hussain is our choice for the #SheLeadsHere campaign and we look forward to working closely with her,” she added.

Her Excellency also touched on the nine Bruneian students who will head to Canada in the next months after being selected as the recipients of the 2022 – 2023 Canada-ASEAN SEED scholarship.

“Our long-standing relationship has allowed Canada and ASEAN to deepen people-to-people ties. We will proudly continue to invest in life-long learning through the Canada-ASEAN SEED scholarship program,” she said.

Image: Azrina Zin

Moreover, four organizations, namely UTB, UBD, the Reading and Literacy Association (ReLA) and the Brunei Library Association, received Canadian books of different genres which were presented by the High Commissioner.

“Literacy and education go hand in hand and that is why I have focused much of my time here in Brunei on these issues. The Canadian High Commission here in Brunei has been working with the local universities and NGOs to increase access to books from our country,” she said.

The High Commissioner also talked about one of the books that was donated to the organisations, “Journey of the Midnight Sun” by Shazia Afza.

“This children’s story book recounts the true story of when a mosque from Winnipeg, Manitoba was moved more than 4000 km north to Inuvik so that the Muslim community in that tiny village had a sacred place to pray. This story has been beautifully illustrated in this book and we are providing several copies to the Reading and Literacy Association of Brunei and the National Library for the reading pleasure of Bruneian children,” she said.

Image: Azrina Zin

From cowboy hats to hockey jerseys, invited guests had the opportunity to take photos at the photobooth and enjoyed a variety of hearty Canadian breakfast consisting of pancakes with a choice of maple syrup, fried eggs, sausage and more.

During the morning event, guests also had a chance to escape into the pages of French-Canadian literature from “Ma Maison-tête” by Vigg to “Le géant du nord canadien” by Réjean Roy at the Book Corner.

This article was first published on 02 July 2022 in our Weekly Epaper issue 200 |


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