Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate visited Ottawa on Thursday June 2, 2011, to greet and offer the respects of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Canadian Diocese to newly re-elected Members of Parliament. As a result of the recent federal election held on May 2, 2011, the Conservative Party of Canada has remained in power and increased their number of seats from a minority to a majority government to form Canada’s 41st Parliament.
Bishop Galstanian met the Hon. Edward Fast, Minister of International Trade and Member of Parliament for Abbotsford, British Columbia. His Eminence had a cordial visit whereby he congratulated the Minister upon his re-election and for his recent appointment to the cabinet as Minister of International Trade. The Primate wished him every success to carry out future initiatives of the government’s international business agenda. The Minister warmly thanked Bishop Galstanian, for his kind wishes and opportunity to make his acquaintance at this, their initial meeting.
Our Primate continued with his visits and met the Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Calgary South West. Minister Kenney warmly received the Primate, and showed sincere appreciation for the visit. Bishop Galstanian took this opportunity to once again renew the genuine sentiments of the Diocese and the faithful with heartfelt congratulations for the Minister’s re-election. This meeting provided an occasion for both to discuss and exchange notes on issues of mutual concern.
The first meeting of the day was scheduled with Mr. Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Conestoga. Mr. Albrecht is also the Chair of the Canada Armenia Parliamentary Friendship group, and has travelled to Armenia with a group of Parliamentarians to establish bi-lateral relations with Armenia. Primate Galstanian had accompanied this group’s successful visit to Armenia in September 2010.
On behalf of the Diocese and the Canadian Armenian Community, Bishop Galstanian conveyed his condolences to MP Albrecht, offered his prayer and words of comfort for the loss of Betty Albrecht, Harold’s wife of 39 years, who passed away after suddenly falling ill.
Dn. Hagop Arslanian, Director of the Governmental Relations Office of the Diocese accompanied Bishop Galstanian on this trip and all visits with the members of parliament.