On Tuesday, July 31, 2007 the Estonian Central Council and the Estonian Embassy in Ottawa organized a reception at the Toronto Estonian House for Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and his wife and daughter, who were in Canada on an unofficial visit. The interest in the vacationing Ansip was such that the Estonian House was packed. To be more specific, the event honoured a politician who was instrumental in removing the "bronze soldier" from the heart of Tallinn.
The evening started with a speech by Archbishop Andres Taul, of St. Peter’s Evangelic Lutheran Church, noting how many of the institutions of Estonian society got their start in church basements.
Interwoven with speeches of political entities were performances by Kalev-Estienne rhythmic gymnastics and piano renditions by Armas Maiste. Pastor Jüri Puusaag said grace.
The master of ceremonies was the President of the Estonian Central Council Mr. Avo Kittask. Mr. Kittask and Honourary Consul General Mr. Laas Leivat presented Mr. Ansip with the Estonian Central Council Medal of Merit.
In his speech Honourary Consul General Leivat expressed the Toronto Estonian Community's unanimous agreement with Mr. Ansip's decision to remove the "bronze soldier" from the heart of Tallinn resulting in tumultuous applause.
Mr. Ansip, in his speech, congratulated Estonians abroad for their support of Estonia. He then explained that the main reason for moving the "bronze soldier" was that Estonian policy is decided in Estonia, not dictated by Moscow.
Toronto Estonians greet Prime Minister Andrus Ansip