April 25, 2012
Good evening and chag sameach
Thank you for having me here to celebrate Israel’s 64th birthday.
64 years as a democratic, independent state is a remarkable achievement.
One that many would never have imagined to be possible in years prior.
Your determination did not end in 1948, it only became stronger.
These have not been an easy 64 years. Every step of the way, Israel’s courage – your courage – has been tested.
But Israel’s tenacity through those tough times has spurred unparalleled innovation.
Israel is home to some of the top universities and technical institutes in the world.
It’s a country with leading edge research and innovation
in health sciences, biotech, chemistry, clean technology and the environment.
A country with more start-ups per capita than anywhere else in the world.
And to me, that’s the story of Israel.
I still remember my first experience in Israel.
I could see citizens committed to putting their families and communities first. Because the only way to build a country like Israel is by working together and for each other.
That same commitment is found here in British Columbia. You don’t just support your own families and community – which you do – but you are there for all of British Columbia and Israel too.
You are helping build British Columbia and Israel.
My primary mission is to make lives better for British Columbian families.
And to do that we are focused on creating and protecting jobs by strengthening our economy.
That means ensuring that our universities offer the best training, education andresearch.
It means getting government out of the way of the private sector and eliminating redtape that restricts business growth.
And it means opening doors and working with other innovative, forward-thinking nations.
As part of that initiative, I am pleased to announce today that MLA Moira Stilwell will be leading a BC delegation on a mission to Israel next month.
She will be joined by several other MLAs as well as key biotech and health leaders.
The purpose of this mission is find ways to work together to commercialize medical technology, something Israeli entrepreneurs have been doing for years.
We want to establish long-lasting business relationships between Israel and BritishColumbia.
And we want to spur even more innovation so we can create jobs that put food on dinner tables in both British Columbia and in Israel.
Support for Israel abroad makes a difference. That’s why you are here today. Every friend counts.
I’m proud that British Columbia can be counted as a friend of Israel’s.
I wish you all a happy Yom Ha’atzmaut. Chag Sameach.