The Premier of the Canadian province of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, arrived in Israel at the head of a delegation of over 100 Canadian politicians and business leaders on Sunday.
Included in the delegation is Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, and Ontario Minister of and Development Reza Moridi, amongst others.
Ontario is the most populous province in Canada, and is also home to Toronto, the most populous city in Canada. Ten of the world's largest tech companies have their research and development centers in the province, and the information technology sector provides over 250,000 jobs.
Teva Pharmaceuticals even has a production facility an hour outside of Toronto, and many Israelis have set up hi tech and med tech companies in the province.
In a preliminary visit to Canada, Canadian representatives explained to the Israelis present why the relationship between the two countries is so important, and why they want to strengthen it.
"Israel may be small, but there is definitely a market there," the Canadians said, adding that Israel punches above its weight.
Premier Wynne added that "before I was a politician, I was an educator and worked at a Jewish school. We worked on subjects such as conflict resolution, something which was very important to me, and something which led me into politics."
One of the prime examples of development and entrepreneurship Ontario has to offer is the Mars Building situated in the heart of Toronto. The building, a former hospital, has been turned into a complex for hi tech medical sciences and information technology. The companies based there have been chosen to receive government support due to their commercial viability.
Earl Miller, a Mars Building representative, explained the rationale behind the Canadian project.
"We provide assistance to companies which want to develop in the bio-tech and info-tech sectors. It's difficult to commercialize a product, so while the various institutions and companies do the research, we assist with the commercialization."
Gal Sela of Synaptive Medical Inc which operates in the building is an Israeli who lived most of his life in Canada.
"I started the company with three others in 2012, and today, we've grown to 210 employees. We started by dealing with medical physics, and we have seven products which have already been approved for use. One of our products assists with neurosurgery. It's like a GPS for the brain – forms a map of the brain and tells the surgeon exactly where to operate. We are also focusing on the US market, and our products have already been used in over 700 surgeries."