The President of Malta, George Vella, began his engagements in Toronto, Canada, with a meeting with representatives of Maltese Canadian associations from different fields – from sports to traditions and religious, commercial, missionary, band, and social associations.
During the meeting, President Vella remarked that the size of our country was never a problem to be respected worldwide. “I am glad to see how the first generation of Maltese is passing on the baton to younger community members”, stated the President while following with interest their plans to continue with their work through outreach projects on culture, inclusion and diversity.
“I am impressed that even though you have left Malta many years ago, you still maintain ties with Malta and visit often,” said the President, while encouraging them not to forget where they left from. Present at the meeting were representatives, among others, of the Maltese Canadian Federation, Leħen Malti, Melita Soccer Club, Malta Band Club, Gozo Club Toronto/Maltese Canadian Gozo Association, Maltese United Society of Windsor, Maltese Canadian Association of the City of Hamilton (MCACH), Malta Village Association, the Maltese-Canadian Museum and Archives, Volunteer Group, the Festa San Ġorġ Committee, and the St Paul the Apostle Mission Group.
Accompanied by the Minister for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality, Byron Camilleri, President Vella also had a meeting with the Consul General for Malta in Toronto, Denise Demicoli, as well as with the Honorary Consuls of British Colombia, Alberta, and Quebec. Also present at the meeting were Canadian representatives on the Council for Maltese Living Abroad (CMLA).
The President and Mrs Vella also visited the ongoing works on the long-term care facility at Runnymede Healthcare Centre, which is located in an area known as “Little Malta” and which has strong ties to the Maltese community in Toronto. The President and CEO of Runnymede Healthcare Centre, Connie Dejak, explained to President Vella that the current works will increase places for the Maltese elderly in need of long-term care. At this centre, the President met and spoke with workers of Maltese descent and met with the relatives of an elderly Maltese woman who has been receiving care there for several years.