Foreign relations of Canada
This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (December 2016)
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The foreign relations of Canada are Canada's relations with other governments and peoples. Canada's most important relationship, being the largest trading relationship in the world, is with the United States. However, Canadian governments have traditionally maintained active relations with other nations, mostly through multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, La Francophonie, the Organization of American States, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
- 1 History
- 2 Administration
- 3 Foreign aid
- 4 Bilateral relations
- 5 Other bilateral and plurilateral relations
- 6 Multilateralism
- 6.1 Canada–Asia relations
- 6.2 Canada–Caribbean relations
- 6.3 Canada–Commonwealth of Nations
- 6.4 Canada–European Union relations
- 6.5 Canada–Latin American relations
- 6.6 International organizations
- 6.7 Relations with international groups
- 6.8 Major treaties signed in Canada
- 7 Territorial and boundary disputes
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
The British North American colonies which today constitute modern Canada had little control over their foreign affairs until the achievement of responsible government in the late 1840s. Up to that time, wars, negotiations and treaties were carried out by the British government to settle disputes concerning the colonies over fishing and boundaries and to promote trade. Notable examples from the colonial period include the Nootka Convention, the War of 1812, the Rush–Bagot Treaty, the Treaty of 1818, the Webster–Ashburton Treaty, and the Oregon Treaty. Before the granting of responsible government, British diplomats handled foreign affairs and had the goal of achieving British goals, especially peace with the United States; domestic Canadian interests were secondary. The Canadian–American Reciprocity Treaty of 1854 signaled an important change in relations between Britain and its North American colonies. In this treaty, the Canadas were allowed to impose tariff duties more favourable to a foreign country (the U.S.) than to Britain, a precedent that was extended by new tariffs in 1859, 1879 and 1887, despite angry demands on the part of British industrialists that these tariffs be disallowed by London.
Dominion of Canada: 1867
Soon after Confederation, the first prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald appointed Sir John Rose as his lobbyist in London. When Alexander Mackenzie became prime minister, he sent George Brown to represent Canada in Washington during British-American trade talks. After the Conservative Party came back to power in 1878, the government sent Alexander Galt to London, as well as to France and Spain. Although the British government was concerned about this nascent Canadian diplomacy, it finally consented to giving Galt the formal title of High Commissioner in 1880. A trade commissioner was appointed to Australia in 1894. As High Commissioner, Charles Tupper helped negotiate an agreement with France in 1893 but it was countersigned by the British ambassador as the Queen's official representative to France. Meanwhile, in 1882 the province of Quebec made its first of many forays into the international community by sending a representative, Hector Fabre to Paris in 1882.
Canada's responses to international events elsewhere were limited at this time. During 1878 tensions between Britain and Russia, for example, Canada constructed a few limited defences but did little else. By the time of the British campaign in Sudan of 1884–85, however, Canada was expected to contribute troops. Since Ottawa was reluctant to become involved, the Governor General of Canada privately raised 386 voyageurs at Britain's expense to help British forces on the Nile river. By 1885, many Canadians offered to volunteer as part of a potential Canadian force, however the government declined to act. This stood in sharp contrast to Australia (New South Wales), which raised and paid for its own troops.
The first Canadian commercial representative abroad was John Short Larke. Larke became Canada's first trade commissioner following a successful trade delegation to Australia led by Canada's first Minister of Trade and Commerce, Mackenzie Bowell.
In 1909, Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier reluctantly established a Department of External Affairs and the positions of Secretary and Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs, largely at the urging of the Governor-General Earl Grey and James Bryce, the British ambassador in Washington, who estimated that three-quarters of his embassy's time was devoted to Canadian-American matters. The Alaska boundary dispute was resolved by a commission in 1903, at which the British delegate sided with the Americans, stunning Canadians into a realization that the Empire's interests were paramount to Canada's. The Canadian judges refused to sign the award (issued 20 October 1903) as a protest and angry anti-British feeling erupted in Canada.
Due to Canada's important contributions to the British war effort in 1914–18, Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden insisted that Canada be treated as a separate signatory to the Treaty of Versailles. In 1920 Canada became a full member of the League of Nations, and acted independently of London. It was elected to the League Council (governing board) in 1927. It did not play a leading role, and generally opposed sanctions or military action by the League. The League was virtually defunct by 1939.
The government operated a Canadian War Mission in Washington, 1918 to 1921, but it was not until William Lyon Mackenzie King became Prime Minister in 1921 that Canada seriously pursued an independent foreign policy. In 1923, Canada independently signed the Halibut Treaty with the United States at Mackenzie King's insistence – the first time Canada signed a treaty without the British also signing it. In 1925, the government appointed a permanent diplomat to Geneva to deal with the League of Nations and International Labour Organization. Following the Balfour Declaration of 1926, King appointed Vincent Massey as the first Canadian minister plenipotentiary in Washington (1926), raised the office in Paris to legation status under Philippe Roy (1928), and opened a legation in Tokyo with Herbert Marler as envoy (1929).
Canada achieved legislative independence with the enactment of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, although British diplomatic missions continued to represent Canada in most countries throughout the 1930s.
After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Canada rapidly expanded its diplomatic missions abroad. While Canada hosted two major Allied conferences in Quebec in 1943 and 1944, neither Prime Minister Mackenzie King nor senior generals and admirals were invited to take part in any of the discussions.
In 1982, responsibility for trade was added with the creation of the Department of External Affairs and International Trade. In 1995, the name was changed to Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Canada has often carried out its foreign policy through coalitions and international organizations, and through the work of numerous federal institutions. Under the aegis of Canadian foreign policy, various departments and agencies conduct their own international relations and outreach activities. For example, the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence conduct defence diplomacy in support of national interests, including through the deployment of Canadian Defence Attachés, participation in bilateral and multilateral military forums (e.g., the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces), ship and aircraft visits, military training and cooperation, and other such outreach and relationship-building efforts.
There are two major elements of Canadian foreign relations, Canada-US relations and multilateralism.
Greg Donaghy, of Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, argues:
- Since taking power in 2006, Prime Minister Harper's government has clearly abandoned the liberal internationalism that had so often characterized Ottawa's approach to world affairs, replacing it with a new emphasis on realist notions of national interest, enhanced capabilities, and Western democratic values.[relevant? ]
Canada's international relations are the responsibility of the Department of Global Affairs, which is run by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position currently held by Chrystia Freeland. Traditionally the Prime Minister has played a prominent role in foreign affairs decisions. Foreign aid, formerly delivered through the Canadian International Development Agency, has been administered by DFATD since March 2013.
Canada's foreign aid was administered by the Canadian International Development Agency, which provided aid and assistance to other countries around the world through various methods. In March 2013 CIDA ceased to exist when it was folded into DFAIT, creating DFATD. The strategy of the Canadian government's foreign aid policy reflects an emphasis to meet the Millennium Development Goals, while also providing assistance in response to foreign humanitarian crises. However a growing focus on development, defense, and diplomacy in recent decades has produced a concentration of foreign aid funding to countries determined to be security risks to Canadian policy. For example, in 2004-2005 the largest recipients of Canada's official developmental assistance were Afghanistan and Iraq, two nations in conflict with the United States of America and its allies at the time. The structural emphasis on security and industry development has contributed to a fixed foreign policy that generally fails to consider global health and international social and economic inequalities.
In addition, although Canada’s foreign aid policies has been molded with the intentions to be in accordance to the Millennium Development Goals, its focus on human security has slowly shifted away as new policy developments arose. The foreign aid provided by the country became less "people-centered" and less health-related. Canada’s contributions have been quite inconsistent with regards to human security, which indicates that the reputation that the country has built throughout the years, in fact, exceeds the country’s actual record. Canada’s contributions internationally have been detrimental and crucial but it needs redirecting back to its original goals.
Federalism and foreign relations
The provinces have a high level of freedom to operate internationally, dating from Quebec's first representative to France in 1886, Hector Fabre. Alberta has had representatives abroad, starting with Alberta House in London (37 Hill Street), since 1948, and British Columbia around 25 years before that. By 1984, Quebec had offices in ten countries including eight in the United States and three in other Canadian provinces while Ontario had thirteen delegations in seven countries. Most provincial governments have a ministry of international relations, both Quebec and New Brunswick are members of La Francophonie (separately from the federal delegation), Alberta has quasi-diplomatic offices in Washington (currently staffed by former cabinet minister Gary Mar). Provincial premiers were always part of the famous Team Canada trade missions of the 1990s. In 2007, Quebec premier Jean Charest proposed a free trade agreement with the European Union.
Provinces have always participated in some foreign relations, and appointed agents general in the United Kingdom and France for many years, but they cannot legislate treaties. The French-speaking provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick are members of la Francophonie, and Ontario has announced it wishes to join. Quebec has pursued its own foreign relations, especially with France. Alberta opened an office in Washington, D.C., in March 2005 to lobby the American government, mostly to reopen the borders to import of Canadian beef. With the exception of Quebec, none of these efforts undermine the ability of the federal government to conduct foreign affairs.
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Algeria||1962||See Algeria-Canada relations, Embassy of Algeria in Ottawa, List of Canadian ambassadors to Algeria
|Angola||1978||See Embassy of Angola in Ottawa, List of Canadian ambassadors to Angola|
Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1976.
|Egypt||1954||See Canada–Egypt relations|
|Ethiopia||1956||See Canada–Ethiopia relations
|Kenya||1965||See Canada–Kenya relations|
|Madagascar||1965||See Canada–Madagascar relations|
|Mali||1978||See Canada–Mali relations
|Senegal||1962||See Canada–Senegal relations|
|South Africa||1939||See Canada–South Africa relations
Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1968.
Canada currently has a development assistance program in Zambia, which is focused on the health sector to provide Zambians with equal access to quality health care. Canada and Zambia are currently in the process of negotiating a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Argentina||1940-04||See Argentina–Canada relations
Canada’s first Ambassador to Buenos Aires, began his assignment in 1945. Argentina has an embassy in Ottawa. and two consulates general (in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario). Canada has an embassy in the capital city of Buenos Aires. In 2011 Canada's largest imports were decorative items gold, wines and Iron and steal pipes. Canada's largest exports to Argentina were Energy-related products; telephones sets, and fertilizers. Bilateral trade in 2014 was $2.19 billion. Both countries are members of the Organization of American States and the Cairns Group.
|Antigua and Barbuda||1981||
|Barbados||1966-11-30||See Barbados–Canada relations
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 in September 1973. There is a Barbadian High Commission in Ottawa and a Barbadian Consulate in Toronto. The relationship between both nations today partly falls within the larger context of Canada–Caribbean relations.
|Belize||1981-09-21||See Foreign relations of Belize|
|Brazil||1941-05||See Brazil–Canada relations, Embassy of Brazil in Ottawa, List of Brazilian ambassadors to Canada
Brazil-Canada relations have been cordial but relatively limited, although the relationship between the two countries has been gradually evolving over time.
|Bolivia||1961||See Foreign relations of Bolivia|
|Chile||1941||See Canada–Chile relations|
|Colombia||1953-01||See Canada–Colombia relations|
|Costa Rica||1961||See Foreign relations of Costa Rica|
|Cuba||1945||See Canada–Cuba relations
Canada has maintained consistently cordial relations with Cuba, in spite of considerable pressure from the United States, and the island is also one of the most popular travel destinations for Canadian citizens. Canada-Cuba relations can be traced back to the 18th century, when vessels from the Atlantic provinces of Canada traded codfish and beer for rum and sugar. Cuba was the first country in the Caribbean selected by Canada for a diplomatic mission. Official diplomatic relations were established in 1945, when Emile Vaillancourt, a noted writer and historian, was designated Canada's representative in Cuba. Canada and Mexico were the only two countries in the hemisphere to maintain uninterrupted diplomatic relations with Cuba following the Cuban Revolution in 1959.
|Dominica||1979||See Foreign relations of Dominica|
|Dominican Republic||1954||See Foreign relations of the Dominican Republic|
|Ecuador||1960||See Foreign relations of Ecuador|
|El Salvador||1961||See Foreign relations of El Salvador|
|Grenada||1974-02-07||See Grenada–Canada relations|
|Guyana||1964||See Canada–Guyana relations
|Guatemala||1961||See Foreign relations of Guatemala|
|Haiti||1954||See Canada–Haiti relations
During the unsettled period from 1957 to 1990, Canada received many Haitian refugees, who now form a significant minority in Quebec. Canada participated in various international interventions in Haiti between 1994 and 2004, and continues to provide substantial aid the Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
|Honduras||1961||See Foreign relations of Honduras|
|Jamaica||1962||See Canada–Jamaica relations
|Mexico||1944-01||See Canada–Mexico relations, Embassy of Mexico in Ottawa, List of Canadian ambassadors to Mexico
Despite the fact that historic ties between the two nations have been coldly dormant, relations between Canada and Mexico have positively changed in recent years; seeing as both countries brokered the North American Free Trade Agreement. Although on different sides of the Cold War spectrum (Canada was a member of NATO while Mexico was in the Non-Aligned Movement, the two countries were still allies in World War II.)
|Nicaragua||1961||See Foreign relations of Nicaragua|
|Panama||1961||See Canada–Panama relations
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||1983-09-19||See Foreign relations of Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Saint Lucia||1979-02-22||See Foreign relations of Saint Lucia|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||1979-10-27||See Foreign relations of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1962-08-31|
|United States||1927-02-18||See Canada–United States relations, Embassy of the United States in Ottawa, Embassy of Canada in Washington, United States Ambassador to Canada, List of Canadian ambassadors to the United States
Relations between Canada and the United States span more than two centuries, marked by a shared British colonial heritage, conflict during the early years of the U.S., and the eventual development of one of the most successful international relationships in the modern world. The most serious breach in the relationship was the War of 1812, which saw an American invasion of then British North America and counter invasions from British-Canadian forces. The border was demilitarized after the war and, apart from minor raids, has remained peaceful. Military collaboration began during the World Wars and continued throughout the Cold War, despite Canadian doubts about certain American policies. A high volume of trade and migration between the U.S. and Canada has generated closer ties, despite continued Canadian fears of being overwhelmed by its neighbour, which is ten times larger in population, wealth and debt.
|Uruguay||1953-01||See Canada–Uruguay relations
|Venezuela||1953-01||See Canada–Venezuela relations
In February 1948 there was a Canadian Consulate General in Caracas and a Venezuelan Consulate General in Montreal. In that year the Venezuelan Consul General, on behalf of the government of Venezuela, made a rapprochement with Canada in order to open direct diplomatic representations between the two countries; but the Canadian government delayed the opening of a diplomatic mission in Venezuela because of the lack of enough suitable personnel to staff a Canadian mission in Venezuela and the impossibility of Canada beginning a representation in Venezuela in that year without considering a policy of expansion of Canadian representation abroad.
In the interest of protecting Canadian trade with Venezuela and considering the difficulties for business in being without a Canadian representation in Caracas, Canada was pushed to accept the Venezuelan offer of exchanging diplomatic missions. Finally Canada elevated the former office of the Canadian Consulate General in Caracas to the category of embassy in 1953.
On the other hand, Venezuela established an embassy in Canada in 1952. Since then there have been good commercial relations between the two countries, especially in technology, oil and gas industry, telecommunications and others.
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|See Afghanistan–Canada relations, War in Afghanistan, Embassy of Canada in Kabul, List of Canadian ambassadors to Afghanistan|
|Armenia||1992||See Armenia–Canada relations
|Brunei||1984-05-07||See Brunei–Canada relations|
|China||1970-10-13||See Canada–China relations, Embassy of China in Ottawa, List of Canadian ambassadors to the People's Republic of China
Since 2003, China has emerged as Canada's second largest trading partner, passing Britain and Japan. China now accounts for approximately six percent of Canada's total world trade. According to a recent study by the Fraser Institute, China replaced Japan as Canada's third-largest export market in 2007, with CA$9.3 billion flowing into China in 2007. Between 1998 and 2007, exports to China grew by 272 percent, but only represented about 1.1 per cent of China's total imports. In 2007, Canadian imports of Chinese products totaled C$38.3 billion. Between 1998 and 2007, imports from China grew by almost 400 percent. Leading commodities in the trade between Canada and China include chemicals, metals, industrial and agricultural machinery and equipment, wood products, and fish products.
|India||1947-08-15||See Canada–India relations
In 2004, bilateral trade between India and Canada was at about C$2.45 billion. However, India's Smiling Buddha nuclear test led to connections between the two countries being frozen, with allegations that India broke the terms of the Colombo Plan. Although Jean Chrétien and Roméo LeBlanc both visited India in the late 1990s, relations were again halted after the Pokhran-II tests.
|Indonesia||1952||See Canada–Indonesia relations
|Iran||1955 ended 2012||See Canada–Iran relations
Canadian-Iranian relations date back to 1955, up to which point the Canadian Consular and Commercial Affairs in Iran was handled by the British Embassy. A Canadian diplomatic mission was constructed in Tehran in 1959 and raised to Embassy status in 1961. Due to rocky relations after the Iranian Revolution, Iran did not establish an embassy in Canada until 1991 when its staff, which had been living in a building on Roosevelt Avenue in Ottawa's west end, moved into 245 Metcalfe Street in the Centretown neighbourhood of Ottawa which was upgraded to embassy status, however in 2012. Canada severed all diplomatic ties with Iran in regard to Iran's treatment of human rights.
|Iraq||1961-02 to 1991-12
|see Canada and the Iraq War, Embassy of Iraq in Ottawa|
|Israel||1950||See Canada–Israel relations, Embassy of Israel in Ottawa, List of Canadian ambassadors to Israel
At the United Nations in 1947, Canada was one of the thirty-three countries that voted in favour of the creation of a Jewish homeland. Canada delayed granting de facto recognition to Israel until December 1948, and finally gave full de jure recognition to the new nation on 11 May 1949, only after it was admitted into the United Nations (UN). A week later, Avraham Harman became Israel's first Consul General in Canada. In September 1953, the Canadian Embassy opened in Tel Aviv and Israeli Ambassador to Canada, Michael Comay, was appointed, although a non-resident Canadian Ambassador to Israel was not appointed until 1958.
|Japan||1928-12||See Canada–Japan relations, Embassy of Japan in Ottawa, Embassy of Canada in Tokyo, List of Canadian ambassadors to Japan
The two countries enjoy an amicable companionship in many areas; Diplomatic relations between both countries officially began in 1950 with the opening of the Japanese consulate in Ottawa. In 1929, Canada opened its Tokyo legation, the first in Asia; and in that same year, Japan its Ottawa consulate to legation form.
|Kazakhstan||1992||See Canada–Kazakhstan relations|
|North Korea||2001-02-06 to 2010-03-26||See Canada–North Korea relations
Canada and North Korea share very little trade due to the destabilizing element North Korea has caused in the Asia Pacific region. Canada is represented by the Canadian Ambassador resident in Seoul, and North Korea is represented through its office at the UN in New York City.
|South Korea||1963-01-14||See Canada–South Korea relations
Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1992.
|Lebanon||1954||See Canada–Lebanon relations
Canada established diplomatic relations with Lebanon in 1954, when Canada deployed "Envoy Extraordinaire" to Beirut. In 1958, Canada sent its first Ambassador. The Embassy was closed in 1985 and reopened in January 1995. Lebanon opened a consulate in Ottawa in 1946. A Consulate-General replaced the Consulate in 1949, and it was upgraded to full embassy status in 1958.
|Malaysia||1957-08-31||See Canada–Malaysia relations|
|Mongolia||1973-11-30||See Canada–Mongolia relations
Though Canada and Mongolia established diplomatic ties in 1973, ad hoc linkages and minor activities occurred between the two countries mainly through the Canada-Mongolia Society, which disbanded in 1980. When Mongolia formed a democratic government in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Canada began to support Mongolia with donor activities through the International Development Research Centre, Canadian International Development Agency and several non-governmental organizations.
|Pakistan||1947-08-15||See Canada–Pakistan relations
|Saudi Arabia||1973-05||See Canada–Saudi Arabia relations, Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Ottawa
Saudi Arabia is Canada's second largest trade partner among the seven countries of the Arabian Peninsula, totalling more than $2 billion in trade in 2005, nearly double its value in 2002, trade totaled $3.8 in 2014. Canada chiefly imports petroleum, and oil from Saudi Arabia, while The largest exporting good are such as cereals, railway/tramway equipment; machinery equipment and paper in 2010.
|Singapore||1965-12-15||See Canada–Singapore relations
|Turkey||1944||See Canada–Turkey relations
Canada-Turkey bilateral merchandise stood at $2.3 billion in 2012. Turkey is Canada's 34th largest trade partner. Canadian merchandise exports to Turkey were $850 million in 2012, and consisted mainly of oils (not crude), minerals, iron/steel and vegetables.
|Vietnam||1973-08-21||See Canada-Vietnam relations
|Yemen||1975-12 (North Yemen)
1976-05 (South Yemen)
1989-09 (united Yemen)
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Albania||1987-09-10||See Albania–Canada relations
|Belgium||1939-01||See Belgium–Canada relations
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||See Foreign relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Cyprus||1960-08-16||See Canada–Cyprus relations
Canadian bilateral political relations with Cyprus stemmed initially from Cypriot Commonwealth membership at independence in 1960 (that had followed a guerrilla struggle with Britain). These relations quickly expanded in 1964 when Canada became a major troop contributor to UNFICYP. The participation lasted for the next 29 years, during which 50,000 Canadian soldiers served and 28 were killed. In large measure Canadian relations with Cyprus continue to revolve around support for the ongoing efforts of the UN, G8 and others to resolve the island's divided status. Canada has an honorary consul in Nicosia.
|Czech Republic||1993||See Canada–Czech Republic relations
Canada has an embassy in Prague. The Czech Republic has an embassy in Ottawa, two consulates general (in Montreal and Toronto) and honorary consuls (in Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg).
|Denmark||1949-10-14||See Canada–Denmark relations
|France||1882||See Canada–France relations, Embassy of France in Ottawa, Embassy of Canada in Paris, List of French ambassadors to Canada, List of Canadian ambassadors to France
In the 2007 and 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Quebec Premier Jean Charest all spoke in favour of a Canada – EU free trade agreement. In October 2008, Sarkozy became the first French President to address the National Assembly of Quebec. In his speech he spoke out against Quebec separatism, but recognized Quebec as a nation within Canada. He said that, to France, Canada was a friend, and Quebec was family.
|Germany||See Canada–Germany relations, Embassy of Canada in Berlin, Embassy of Germany in Ottawa
|Greece||1937||See also Canada–Greece relations, Embassy of Greece in Ottawa
|Holy See||1969||See Canada – Holy See relations
Although the Roman Catholic Church has been territorially established in Canada since the founding of New France in the early 17th century, Holy See–Canada relations were only officially established under the papacy of Paul VI in the 1960s. Canada has an embassy on the Via della Conciliazione and the Holy See has an apostolic nunciature in Ottawa's Rockcliffe district.
|Hungary||1964||See Canada–Hungary relations
|Iceland||1942||See Canada–Iceland relations
|Ireland||1929-12-28||See Canada–Ireland relations, Embassy of Ireland in Ottawa, List of Canadian ambassadors to the Republic of Ireland
Canada and Ireland enjoy friendly relations, the importance of these relations centres on the history of Irish migration to Canada. Roughly 4 million Canadians have Irish ancestors, or approximately 14% of Canada's population.
|Italy||1947||See Canada–Italy relations
Canada recognized Kosovo on 18 March 2008.
|Latvia||1921||See Canada–Latvia relations
|Netherlands||1939-01||See Canada–Netherlands relations
|Norway||1942||See Canada–Norway relations
|Poland||1935||See Canada–Poland relations
|Portugal||1946||See Canada–Portugal relations|
|Romania||1967-04-03||See Canada–Romania relations, Embassy of Canada in Bucharest, Embassy of Romania in Ottawa
|Russia||1942-06-12||See Canada–Russia relations
Canada and Russia benefit from extensive cooperation on trade and investment, energy, democratic development and governance, security and counter-terrorism, northern issues, and cultural and academic exchanges.
|Spain||1935||See Canada–Spain relations
|Sweden||See Canada–Sweden relations
Both countries have strong commitments to peacekeeping, UN reform, development assistance, environmental protection, sustainable development, and the promotion and protection of human rights.[dubious ] In additional, there are more than 300,000 Canadians of Swedish descent. Canada has an embassy in Stockholm and two consulates in Gothenburg and Malmö. Sweden has an embassy in Ottawa and ten consulates in Calgary, Edmonton, Fredericton, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Regina, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
|Ukraine||1992||See Canada–Ukraine relations, Embassy of Ukraine in Ottawa
Diplomatic relations were established between Canada and Ukraine on 27 January 1992. Canada opened its embassy in Kiev In April 1992, and the Embassy of Ukraine in Ottawa opened in October of that same year, paid for mostly by donations from the Ukrainian-Canadian community. Ukraine opened a consulate general in Toronto in 1993 and announced plans to open another in Edmonton in 2008. Canada also has a consulate in L'viv.
|United Kingdom||1880||See Canada–United Kingdom relations, High Commission of the United Kingdom in Ottawa, High Commission of Canada in London, List of High Commissioners from the United Kingdom to Canada, List of Canadian High Commissioners to the United Kingdom
London and Ottawa enjoy cooperative and intimate contact, which has grown deeper over the years; the two countries are related through history, the Commonwealth of Nations, and their sharing of the same Head of State and monarch.
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Australia||1939-09-12||See Australia–Canada relations, High Commission of Australia in Ottawa, High Commission of Canada in Canberra, List of Australian High Commissioners to Canada, List of Canadian High Commissioners to Australia|
|Federated States of Micronesia||1998-03-03||See Foreign relations of Federated States of Micronesia|
|New Zealand||1942||See Canada–New Zealand relations, List of High Commissioners from New Zealand to Canada, List of Canadian High Commissioners to New Zealand
New Zealand and Canada have a longstanding relationship that has been fostered by both countries' shared history and culture, by their membership the Commonwealth of Nations and links between residents of both countries. The two countries have a common Head of State, currently Queen Elizabeth II. New Zealand and Canada also have links through business or trade relations, the United Nations, the Commonwealth and mutual treaty agreements. New Zealand-Canada relations are important to both countries.
|Solomon Islands||7 July 1978|
Other bilateral and plurilateral relations
One important difference between Canadian and American foreign policy has been in relations with communist governments. Canada established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (13 October 1970) long before the Americans did (1 January 1979). It also has maintained trade and diplomatic relations with communist Cuba, despite pressures from the United States.
Canadian Government guidance for export controls on weapons systems is published by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Automatic Firearms Country Control List, comprises a list of approved export nations which include as of 2014; (Albania, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States).
Selected dates of diplomatic representation abroad
- Australia – 1939 – first high commissioner Charles Burchell
- Belgium – January 1939 – first ambassador Jean Désy
- China – 1943 – first ambassador General Victor Odlum
- France – 1882 – agent without diplomatic status Hector Fabre
- France – 1928 – first minister Philippe Roy
- France – 1944 – first ambassador George Philias Vanier
- International Criminal Court – 2003 – first Judge-President Philippe Kirsch
- Japan – May 1929 – first minister Sir Herbert Marler
- Mexico – January 1944 – first ambassador William Ferdinand Alphonse Turgeon
- Netherlands – January 1939 – first ambassador Jean Désy
- Newfoundland – 1941 – first high commissioner Charles Burchell
- United Kingdom – 1880 – first high commissioner Sir Alexander Galt
- United Nations – first ambassador General Andrew McNaughton
- United States of America – 1926 – first minister Vincent Massey
Canada is and has been a strong supporter of multilateralism. The country is one of the world's leading peacekeepers, sending soldiers under the U.N. authority around the world. Canadian former Minister of Foreign Affairs and subsequent Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson, is credited for his contributions to modern international peacekeeping, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. Canada is committed to disarmament, and is especially noted for its leadership in the 1997 Convention in Ottawa on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines.
In the last century Canada has made efforts to reach out to the rest of the world and promoting itself as a "middle power" able to work with large and small nations alike. This was demonstrated during the Suez Crisis when Lester B. Pearson mollified the tension by proposing peacekeeping efforts and the inception of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force. In that spirit, Canada developed and has tried to maintain a leading role in UN peacekeeping efforts.
Canada has long been reluctant to participate in military operations that are not sanctioned by the United Nations, such as the Vietnam War or the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, but does join in sanctioned operations such as the first Gulf War, Afghanistan and Libya. It participated with its NATO and OAS allies in the Kosovo Conflict and in Haiti respectively.
Despite Canada's track record as a liberal democracy that has embraced the values of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Canada has not been involved in any major plan for Reform of the United Nations Security Council; although the Canadian government does support UN reform, in order to strengthen UN efficiency and effectiveness.
Canada is working on setting up military bases around the world, while reducing aid and diplomatic efforts. In the late 90s, Canada actively promoted the notion of human security as an alternative to business-as-usual approaches to foreign aid. However, by invoking the "three Ds" (defense, diplomacy, and development) as the fundamental basis for Canadian foreign policy, and then implementing this in a manner that conforms more to military security and trade interests, Canada has successfully distanced itself from the humanitarian objectives of foreign aid, with the human security goal far from being achieved.  Under the Harper government, emphasis on promoting Canada's military presence internationally has included an effort to rebrand Canada historically as a "warrior nation", in large measure to counter the image of only supporting peacekeeping and multilateralism.
In 1985 the Parliament of Canada passed an Act to create the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a think-tank focusing on Canada-Asia relations, in order to enhance Canada-Asia relations. Canada also seeks to expand its ties to Pacific Rim economies through membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC). In addition, Canada is an active participant in discussions stemming from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Canada joined the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1990 and has been an active member, hosting the OAS General Assembly in Windsor, Ontario, in June 2000.
Many Caribbean Community countries turn to Canada as a valued partner. Canadians, particularly Canadian banks, played an important economic role in the development of former British West Indies colonies. Efforts to improve trade have included the idea of concluding a free trade agreement to replace the 1986 bilateral CARIBCAN agreement. At various times, several Caribbean countries have also considered joining Canadian Confederation as new provinces or territories, although no Caribbean nation has implemented such a proposal.
Canada–Commonwealth of Nations
Canada–European Union relations
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Canada–Latin American relations
In recent years Canadian leaders have taken increasing interest in Latin America. Canada has had diplomatic relations with Venezuela since January 1953 and the relations are based on mutual commercial interests, especially in technology, oil and gas industry, telecommunications and others. Canada has an ongoing trade dispute with Brazil.
Canada is a member of the following organizations:
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) (nonregional member)
- African Development Bank (AfDB) (nonregional member)
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
- Arctic Council
- ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (dialogue partner)
- Australia Group
- Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
- Commonwealth of Nations
- Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) (nonregional member)
- Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
- Group of Seven (G7)
- Group of Eight (G8)
- Group of Ten (G-10)
- Group of Twenty (G-20)
- Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) (also known as the World Bank)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- International Criminal Court (ICCt)
- International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (ICRM)
- International Development Association (IDA)
- International Energy Agency (IEA)
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCS)
- International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO)
- Interpol (organization) (Interpol)
- International Olympic Committee (IOC)
- International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO)
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
- International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
- Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
- MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti)
- MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
- Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
- Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
- Organization of American States (OAS)
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF)
- Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
- Paris Club
- Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)
- Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) (partner)
- Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) (observer)
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)
- United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
- United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)
- World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
- Universal Postal Union (UPU)
- World Customs Organization (WCO)
- World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
- Zangger Committee
Relations with international groups
|Organization||Main article||Mission of Canada||Heads of mission from Canada|
|North Atlantic Treaty Organization||Canada–NATO relations||Mission of Canada to the North Atlantic Council (Brussels)||List of Canadian ambassadors to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization|
|Organization of American States||Canada–Latin America relations||Mission of Canada to the Organization of American States (Washington)||List of Canadian ambassadors to the Organization of American States|
|United Nations||Canada and the United Nations||Mission of Canada to: the UN in New York, the UN in Geneva, the UN in Nairobi,
UNESCO in Paris, the FAO in Rome, the ICAO in Montreal
|List of Canadian ambassadors to the United Nations|
Organizations with headquarters in Canada
- International Air Transport Association
- International Civil Aviation Organization
- Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
- North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission
Major treaties signed in Canada
- Ottawa Treaty or Mine Ban Treaty (1997)
- Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987)
- Great Peace of Montreal (1701)
Territorial and boundary disputes
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Canada and the United States have negotiated the boundary between the countries over many years, with the last significant agreement having taken place in 1984 when the International Court of Justice ruled on the maritime boundary in the Gulf of Maine. Likewise, Canada and France had previously contested the maritime boundary surrounding the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, but accepted a 1992 International Court of Arbitration ruling.
A long-simmering dispute between Canada and the U.S. involves the issue of Canadian sovereignty over the Northwest Passage (the sea passages in the Arctic). Canada’s assertion that the Northwest Passage represents internal (territorial) waters has been challenged by other countries, especially the U.S., which argue that these waters constitute an international strait (international waters). Canadians were incensed when Americans drove the reinforced oil tanker Manhattan through the Northwest Passage in 1969, followed by the icebreaker Polar Sea in 1985, both without asking for Canadian permission. In 1970, the Canadian government enacted the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, which asserts Canadian regulatory control over pollution within a 100-nautical-mile (190 km) zone. In response, the Americans in 1970 stated, "We cannot accept the assertion of a Canadian claim that the Arctic waters are internal waters of Canada.... Such acceptance would jeopardize the freedom of navigation essential for United States naval activities worldwide." A compromise was reached in 1988, by an agreement on "Arctic Cooperation," which pledges that voyages of American icebreakers "will be undertaken with the consent of the Government of Canada." However the agreement did not alter either country’s basic legal position. Essentially, the Americans agreed to ask for the consent of the Government of Canada without conceding that they were obliged to. In January 2006, David Wilkins, the American ambassador to Canada, said his government opposes Stephen Harper's proposed plan to deploy military icebreakers in the Arctic to detect interlopers and assert Canadian sovereignty over those waters. 
Along with other nations in the Arctic Council, Canada, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Russia, the maritime boundaries in the far north will be decided after countries have completed their submissions, due in 2012. Russia has made an extensive claim based on the Russian position that everything that is an extension of the Lomonosov Ridge should be assigned to Russia. Their submission had been rejected when first submitted by the United Nations in 2001. The regions represent some of the most extreme environments on Earth yet there is a hope for hypothetically commercially viable oil and gas deposits.
- Alberta International and Intergovernmental Relations
- Ambassadors from Canada
- Arctic policy of Canada
- Canada and the Iraq War
- Canada and the Vietnam War
- Canada–NATO relations
- Canada and the United Nations
- Canada–United States relations
- Defence Diplomacy
- Department of Intergovernmental Affairs (New Brunswick)
- Diplomatic Forum
- List of Canadian ambassadors to the United Nations
- List of Canadian High Commissioners to Australia
- List of Canadian Ministers of Foreign Affairs
- List of Canadian Ministers for International Cooperation
- List of Canadian Ministers of International Trade
- List of Canadian Secretaries of State for External Affairs
- List of diplomatic missions in Canada
- List of diplomatic missions of Canada
- List of state and official visits by Canada
- Ministry of International Relations (Quebec)
- Radio Canada International
- Visa requirements for Canadian citizens
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In brief remarks at the signing, Secretary-General Carrington expressed appreciation to the Government of Canada for its support, and pointed out that over the years "Canada had proven to be a "special friend" of the Caribbean at the regional and bilateral levels." "Our relations with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) have grown to the extent that "it is now considered to be a highly valued international development partner for the region." Among the many important areas in which CIDA has provided grant assistance to the region has been that of trade and competitiveness, a most vital area as the region seeks to secure its place in the international economic and trading arena," the release quoted the Secretary-General as saying.
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- Foreign Affairs Canada – Heads of Posts List
- Embassy: Canada's Foreign Policy Newsweekly
- Canada's place in world affairs
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- Foreign Affairs Canada – Country and Regional Information a summary of Canada's relations with each foreign government as well as some international regions and organizations
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