Premier Kathleen Wynne and representatives from Ontario institutions met with political and economic leaders from the West Bank on Thursday to sign agreements and discuss opportunities to work together on innovation and education initiatives.
Premier Wynne met with President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to discuss opportunities for cooperation on shared priorities, including research, innovation and life sciences.
To promote Ontario as an ideal partner for West Bank businesses in the innovation and research sectors, Premier Wynne also met with Abeer Odeh, Minister of National Economy. The Premier and Minister attended an event with Canadian-Palestinian and Palestinian business leaders, which focused on innovation, information technology and investment.
The Premier also met with Minister of Education Dr. Sabri Saidam before attending a signing ceremony where seven new agreements between Palestinian and Ontario educational institutions were announced, including:
- McMaster University signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with three West Bank postsecondary institutions — An-Najah National University, Birzeit University and Bethlehem University — to explore the creation of international research and mentoring programs.
- York University signed an MOU with Bethlehem University, which will see the two institutions cooperate in the areas of education, research and community service, including developing training and internship programs, exchanging faculty members and working together on research projects.
- The University of Windsor and Birzeit University in the West Bank signed a cooperation agreement to continue their ongoing work together to promote the understanding and institutionalization of human dignity through interdisciplinary research.
In addition, the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and Munk School of Global Affairs announced an initiative to develop a digital platform for continuing education for doctors specializing in cancer treat ment.
While in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Premier visited the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. While in the West Bank, she visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Building new relationships and helping businesses compete globally are part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement. -CINEWS