Barbados and Canada’s already strong ties are set to get stronger.
This was emphasised by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as he met with Canada’s new High Commissioner to Barbados, Richard Hanley, during a courtesy call at the Parliament Buildings, yesterday.
In welcoming the envoy, Stuart noted that Barbados and Canada had enjoyed “very long and productive relations” that dated as far back as the 17th century. He added that over time the bond had grown deeper, and this was demonstrated by the large number of persons in the Barbadian Diaspora in Canada.
Members of this community, he added, have “managed to carve out niches for themselves”, and in turn, have made a “rich contribution to that nation”, as reflected in the publication of a book recording achievements by Barbadians in Canada.
“We’ve done very well in Canada, thanks to the warm hospitality demonstrated to us there,” Stuart added.
He pointed to the culture of shared values and the high regard for human rights and self determination that also characterised the ties between the two allies, along with the long standing double taxation treaties, and the large number of Canadian companies registered in Barbados’ international business and financial services sector.
The Prime Minister mentioned the “cavalcade of Canadian leaders” who had visited Barbados over the years, including former prime ministers John Diefenbaker and Pierre Trudeau, the latter described as “a great friend” of Barbados, and he referred to state visits by Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper, and the recent visit of Governor General David Johnston as testimony of the strong bilateral ties.
In response, the high commissioner described the bond between Barbados and Canada as “very warm” and expressed confidence that the two nations would continue to work together to create greater prosperity and security in the region.
The envoy stated that his country was interested in strengthening the commitment to rules based organisations and thanked Barbados for its unwavering support at the United Nations.
He noted that Barbados was considered a good model for investment and this was demonstrated by the large number of Canadian banks that had been operating successfully here over the years.
“What you’ve done since Independence is a success story of social development,” he said.
Barbados and Canada established formal diplomatic ties on November 30, 1966.