John Short Larke

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John Short Larke (May 28, 1840 – April 24, 1910) was Canada's first trade commissioner who represented the country in Australia starting in 1895.


John Short Larke was born near Stratton, Cornwall, England, UK.[1] At the age of four, he arrived in Oshawa, Ontario with his parents. Between 1865 and 1878, Larke bought out the owners of the Oshawa Vindicator, becoming the sole proprietor of a strongly pro-Conservative newspaper in Oshawa, Ontario.[2]

In 1894, 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.[3] Arriving in Sydney in 1895, Larke was tasked with developing the market for Canadian products in Australia, developing a list of Canadian suppliers for promoting sales to Australia, and reporting back to Ottawa regarding market conditions. During Larke’s years as a Trade Commissioner, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service expanded from one man to twenty-one, representing Canada in sixteen countries.[4] Today, the Trade Commissioner Service, part of the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, operates over 150 offices in over 100 countries around the world.


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