TORONTO—Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is in Toronto making his first visit to Canada, and it looks like he’s ready to get down to business.
On a day in which he announced the relationship between India and Canada was now back on track and signed several agreements, Modi said there are a lot of problems in India but solutions lie in only one thing: development.
One development agreement Modi signed was a deal to buy more than 3,000 tonnes of Saskatchewan uranium, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to fuel India’s power reactors.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who was on hand for the announcement, said the deal would be a boon for his province.
“For an employer of 4,000 people in the province—45 per cent of them First Nations and Metis—it’s a great day for Saskatchewan.”
The contract with Cameco Corp. was one of a number of agreements announced after Harper welcomed Modi to Parliament Hill.
The deals included pledges to co-operate in the areas of civil aviation, railway transportation and education and skills development, as well as space, social security and maternal, newborn and child health.
Modi praised Harper for improving relations between the two countries, saying they had drifted for a while, but are now back on track.
“I am conscious of the significance of this visit in the history of our relations,” he said. “I have come at a time when the importance of this relationship for our two countries has never been stronger.
“Canada has the potential to be a key partner in every area of India’s national development strategy.”
It is the first bilateral visit to Canada by an Indian prime minister since Indira Gandhi was hosted in 1973 by then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
Modi’s next stop is Vancouver, where he will be accompanied by Harper and no fewer than 16 fellow Conservatives scheduled to appear with them at various events.
With files from Mike Blanchfield in Ottawa and Liam Casey in Toronto