The Honourable Joe Volpe, Publisher
TORONTO - I love Canada. It is a beautiful country whose history is filled with challenges that have been overcome by people with a history of recognizing opportunity and of seizing the moment. It is a welcoming place where people are encouraged to always look to the future.
That, in a nutshell, is how Gian Lorenzo Cornado bid goodbye to the country where he has served Italy in three different capacities, including Consul-General in Montreal and more recently as Ambassador of Italy in Ottawa. He is looking forward with enthusiastic anticipation to his new challenge in life and in his career.
It will be a significant and important step upward. He will begin a new role on Monday (today) as Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Angelino Alfano. He remains a member of the Bureaucracy.
Unlike in Canada, the position is not a partisan personal appointment. Rather it is more properly reflected in the role expected of a senior official of the Bureaucracy who is assigned to a Minister with the purpose of balancing the inexperience of incoming Ministerial staff, so as to ensure that continuity is enhanced by the new energies brought about by changes in the Minister and his/her entourage.
In Canada, an official from the bureaucracy is assigned to serve as a member of the Privy Council Office (PCO) to work closely with the political staff to enable policy decisions of the government and the Minister. That official does not report to the Minister. In Italy, the position more properly reflects an executive function.
For that reason, Canadians should feel some pride that the New Primer Minister of Italy has vested such confidence in Gian Lorenzo Cornado’s experience garnered in Canada that he assigned him to the role he will have with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs.
This Minister, Angelino Alfano, will be the new face of Italy around negotiating tables at the G-8, G-20, the trade negotiations for CETA, the [im]probable, for now, free trade discussions with the USA, the Brexit negotiations in Brussels and the European involvement in the Refugee crisis and Syria.
Gian Lorenzo Cornado will be a great help to him. The Canadian experience will have served him well.
“Please tell the Italian Canadian public that I will take fond memories of my interaction with them forever in heart,” he asked, “May God Bless them, especially in this Festive Christmas Season, and may the New Year bring them health and happiness.”
Gian Lorenzo Cornado has always had an open relationship with the Corriere Canadese and a warm personal one with this Publisher. We both wish him every success.