Adams speaks to Canadian Prime Minister
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams today concludes a three-day visit to Canada. Mr Adams was in Toronto to speak at Friends of Sinn Féin (Canada) fundraiser on Saturday evening.
Shortly before that he spoke by phone to the Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. The Sinn Féin President took the opportunity to thank the Canadian government for its consistent help and support for the Irish peace process and in particular the important work of Canadian experts like Judge Cory and General John de Chastelain
The Canadian Prime Minister Mr Martin assured the Sinn Fein President that Canada would continue to support the peace process and would continue to provide whatever help it could.
Speaking at the Friends of Sinn Féin event in the Toronto Hilton Mr Adams told a packed audience that; "the recent IRA initiatives have opened up a new phase in Irish political life. We now have the possibility to develop strategies and policies which can positively change the future of Ireland and reshape the type of country that we want to live in for future generations as well as this generation."
Mr Adams told his audience:
"There are three great tasks of work ahead of us.
"The first is to ensure that the British and Irish governments are focused, decisive and creative and understand clearly the need to bed down the peace process. They need to implement the Good Friday Agreement as they have promised to do.
"The other big task is to end the scourge of sectarianism and to forge a new relationship between unionism and the rest of us.
"The peace process has created a new dynamic for change which many unionists find threatening. They are afraid that they will lose out economically and politically; that the traditional role will be reversed and that they will suffer disadvantage and discrimination.
"Irish republicans will be condone or be part of such developments. The underpinning principles, which guides out politics, is equality. This means working in partnership with those unionists who will work with us to ensure a netter future for all our people.
"The third big task - the third great task for Irish republicans in the time ahead - is to achieve Irish independence and unity.
"Consultation, engagement, persuasion and negotiation with a view to securing active support for a united Ireland is the means to achieving these ends." ENDS