Barbados-Canada relations are the relations between the countries of Canada and Barbados. In 1907, the Government of Canada opened a Trade Commissioner Service to the Caribbean region located in Bridgetown, Barbados. Following Barbadian independence from the United Kingdom in November 1966, the Canadian High Commission was established in Bridgetown, Barbados on 27 September 1973. There is a High Commission of Barbados in Ottawa and a Barbadian Consulate in Toronto. The relationship between both nations today partly falls under the larger gambit of Canada–Caribbean relations.
The relationship between the nations of Barbados and Canada extends as far back as the late 17th century. During this period, Barbados and the current provinces of Canada were a series of colonial possessions of Great Britain and France. In the early most instances of trade between the two regions, Barbados and Canada found themselves able to fill niche markets between one another's markets. The Bluenose vessels were instrumental to trade as Barbados and other islands exported their sugar and rum to the area of Canada, in return Canada exported salted cod and lumber supplies to the West Indies. This trade continued for a number of years, however these ties eventually weaned as the influence of the Thirteen American colonies grew in importance for Canada, Barbados, and the wider West Indies region.
By the early 20th century several large Canadian financial institutions looked towards expansion into the West Indies. On 16 February 1911 the Royal Bank of Canada marked the opening of their first commercial branch in Barbados. then in 1920, CIBC did the same, and finally Scotiabank followed the first two in 1956.
Today, the relations between both nations has flourished in recent years. A growing legion of Canadian businesses and companies have established operations offering services in Barbados. Additionally several reports have shown Barbados to be one of the largest recipients of Canadian Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The Economy of Barbados on the other hand has witnessed Canada becoming its largest source of foreign investment. The governments of both nations continue to identify ways to cement good relations and to nurture economic growth between both countries.
During the Fifth Barbados Charity Ball held in Canada David Thompson, the Prime Minister of Barbados and also its Minister of Finance announced that Canadians represent some 75% of the international financial community in Barbados. The Canadian government has also played an extremely critical role in the continuation of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) since its inception and acts as a significant lending country to the institution.
Around the time of the various colonies of Canada entering into the agreement for confederation. The powerful Barbados Agricultural Society, (BAS) which was made up of influential Bajan plantation owners put together a proposition for Barbados to take part in this Canadian confederation as well. The proposal was made to Sir Francis Hincks, but the deal didn't proceed and Barbados' interest subsided. It was not until the 1950s, just prior to the country of Barbados negotiating independence from the United Kingdom, that yet another movement for establishing some form of political association with Canada was broached yet again. This time spurred by several Barbadian members of parliament.
In 2007, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the desire to heighten Canada's profile in the Americas. As part of his plan, Harper and his Canadian envoy visited several nations of Latin America and the Caribbean regions which included Barbados. Stephen Harper took part in several closed door meetings with the then Barbadian prime minister Owen Arthur and the other heads of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) group of nations. Since Harper's visit, Canada and Barbados have concluded a mutual open skies agreement and are currently in the process of working on a bilateral free trade agreement which will encompass Barbados and the rest of CARICOM.
The Canadian High Commission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean also spoke of the possibility of Barbadian and Canadian Companies forming joint ventures. At the time it was proposed that such an agreement could encompass infrastructure projects in the country of Barbados.
In addition to the Prime Minister's visit to Barbados, the Canadian Governor-General Michaëlle Jean also visited Barbados that same year where and met personally with the Governor-General of Barbados.
The overall relationship of Canada and Barbados are frequently overshadowed in media by the bilateral double taxation agreement between both nations.
In 2008, the three largest stock exchanges in the Caribbean (Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago) mulled the possibility that the Caribbean Stock Exchanges might seek to associate in some way with the Toronto Stock Exchange. All three of these exchanges are currently seeking to join their three bourses into a more effective single Caribbean-wide unit known as the Caribbean Exchange Network (CXN)
In 2009 The Hon. Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), saluted Barbados on achieving the country's 43rd anniversary of independence. In a press release the minister stated, "Canada salutes the people of Barbados as they mark their country's independence, Canada and Barbados have a long tradition of very close relations based on common values, people-to-people links and shared Commonwealth history."
It is estimated that there are roughly 3,000–4,000 Canadian-born permanent residents living in Barbados and roughly the same number of Barbadian-born nationals living in Canada. A number of women from Canada come together to form The Canadian Women’s Club of Barbados social club.
Canadians in Barbados
- Eugene Melnyk (Canadian Businessman) – Melenyk purchased a restaurant bar & grille establishment along the southern coast of Barbados from proprietor Bert Inniss. Melnyk then went on to continue marketing the bar as the Canadian Mecca of Barbados. Additionally, he is a financial stakeholder in the Barbados Sandy Lane Cup for horseracing and a major backer of Canadian community's sport of Road hockey usually played in supermarket or mall parking lots across Barbados.
Barbadians in Canada
- Brett Callaghan (Canadian professional racing jockey) – Callaghan is the managing director of the website TotallyBarbados.com the website won the award as "The Caribbean's Leading Overall Travel Information Website" on 14 December 2007 by the World Travel Award. Brett has also launched www.TotallyToronto.net promoting Toronto to the world.
- Austin Clarke – A renowned novelist for his literary work. Clark won the Giller Prize for The Polished Hoe in 2002, as well as the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 2003. Other works of his include, "Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack" a book about Barbados during the colonial years.
- Anne Cools – Cools a Conservative party member, became the first person of afro-descent to be appointed Canadian Senate. Cools first entered into Canadian politics in 1978. She was appointed to the Senate in 1984.
- Dr. William Duguid – A former member of the Barbados House of Assembly (M.P. for Christ Church West) living in Canada part-time.
- Alan Emtage – Emtage developed one of the first examples of an Internet search utility.
- Keith Forde – Forde is the first visible minority Deputy Chief of Police in the history of the Toronto Police Service
- Joe Fortes – Joe Fortes was the first official lifeguard in the city of Vancouver at the turn of the 20th century. He is most famous for his contribution to society.
- George Lamming – A novelist.
During the 1970s Canada became the largest source of tourists to Barbados. In 1979, roughly 97,000 Canadians visited the island of Barbados. Over time Barbados has seen market share from Canada shift towards lower cost Caribbean destinations such as Cuba or the Dominican Republic. Still yet many Canadians vacation in Barbados including past prime ministers. In 1965 one of Canada's former Prime Ministers, John Diefenbaker was saved by a would be future prime minister of Canada, John Turner after The Hon. Diefenbaker waded out too far in usually strong surf one morning. Something which surely could have altered the political landscape in Canada.
On Monday, 3 November 2008 WestJet commenced the airline's inaugural flight to Barbados. The main competitory of WestJet on this route is Air Canada. The airline announced the start of a four-flights per week schedule going from Toronto, Ontario to Barbados. During the post-inaugural flight ceremony held at the executive lounge of the Grantley Adams International Airport the Barbadian Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy said that the Barbados Tourism Authority was currently seeking to increase its tourism from Canada. He also offered opportunity to collaborate in the future with WestJet should they need a regional Caribbean hub. According to the Barbados Advocate newspaper Sealy stated "We are game if Westjet is interested, in becoming the regional hub for more of your business and we would certainly like to see not four flights a week, but eventually, if we can have a daily service. Grantley Adams is already an established hub and we can feed business into the other territories. So I think there are some possibilities for even greater levels of cooperation with Westjet" he remarked to his Canadian counterparts.
|Date||Agreement name||Law ref. number||Note|
|1967||Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (C/MSAWP),||Formerly: Canadian Farm Labour programme (CFLP)|
|January 1980||Double Taxation Agreement,||E102234 – CTS 1980 No. 29|
|January 1986||Social Security Agreement,|
|January 1997||Foreign Investment Protection Agreement||CTS 1997/4|
|May 2003||Transfer of Offenders Treaty||E104967|
|March 2008||Open Skies Agreement||No. H 067/08||The 2008 agreement supersedes the 1985 air agreement.|
Both nations maintain direct high-level diplomatic representatives.
- Consulate of Barbados in Toronto
- High Commission of Barbados in Ottawa
- High Commission of Canada in Bridgetown
- Canadian Manufacturer's and Exporters Conference later this month – 2007[dead link]
- "Women in Trade Mission to Jamaica and Barbados – January 20–25, 2008". International.gc.ca. 28 October 2009.
- "The Caribbean and Bahamas". RBC Royal Bank.
- "Barbados – A Unique Offshore Domicile – Wealth Management – Barbados". Mondaq.com.
- Thompson, David (2 June 2008). "Address by Prime Minister the Hon. David Thompson". Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS). Archived from the original on 12 July 2009. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- [Alice R.] (1950). "Canadian—West Indian Union, 1884–1885". Canadian Historical Review (University of Toronto Press) 31 (4): 369–389. doi:10.3138/CHR-031-04-02. ISSN 0008-3755. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- Grottke, Hans (30 December 1961). "New Canada-West Indies Trade Pact Is Foreseen". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 12 June 2010. "Hans The possibility of a tightly-knit economic union between Canada and the West Indies Federation was foreseen here yesterday by Sir Archibald Cuke, former president of the Barbados Legislative Council."
- Government of Barbados: Barbados wants better relations with Canada[dead link]
- Canadians keen to be building partners: (17 December 2007), Nation Newspaper
- "Canada's G-G drops in". Nationnews.com. 15 May 2010.
- TTSE eyes US, Canada[dead link]
- Getting a regional stock exchange off the ground[dead link]
- Kent, Peter (30 November 2009). "Minister of State Kent Marks Barbados's Independence Day". Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas). Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- The Canadian Women’s Club of Barbados
- "10-Minute Manager – Never a challenge he couldn't meet". Nationnews.com. 15 May 2010.
- "Totally Toronto". Totally Toronto.
- "Westjet touches down". Barbadosadvocate.com. 4 November 2008.
- John Diefenbaker,
- "WestJet opens up Canada market". Nation Newspaper. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
- "WTO – Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program Presentation by Elizabeth Ruddick Citizenship and Immigration Canada" (PDF).
- Government of Barbados on bilateral relations with Canada[dead link]
- "Government of Barbados list of Agreements". Barbados.gov.bb.
- Agreement Between Canada and Barbados for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital[dead link]
- Agreement on Social Security Between Canada and Barbados[dead link]
- "Agreement on Social Security between Canada and Barbados". .servicecanada.gc.ca. 26 March 2013.
- Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Barbados for the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments
- Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Barbados on the Transfer of offenders[dead link]
- "Canada announces open skies agreement with Barbados". Tc.gc.ca. 12 January 2011.
- Sears, Thomas C. (15 December 2008). "Canada & Barbados: The Next 100 Years". BusinessBarbados.com. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
Caribbean region head office of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank
- Barbados-Canada relations – Canadian Government
- Profile on Barbados by industry and sector
- Amount of Barbados-Canada trade
- Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – Barbados fact finding
- Barbadian Consulate in Canada
- The Barbados Ball Canada Aid (BBCA)