Canada openly supported Falkland Islands' people right to self determination, backed Canadian companies working in the Islands and confirmed ongoing political and trade assurances. The message was clearly conveyed to a high level Falklands' government and private sector during their recent visit to Canadian capital Ottawa and tour of several provinces.
The visit to Canada accompanied by a delegation of Falklands' trade representatives brought many positives, said MLA Mike Summers who added that we attended very productive meetings in Ottawa, Halifax, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, where great similarities revealed exciting opportunities in business and political support.
The delegation besides lawmaker Summers included Phyl Richards, Lewis Clifton, Tom Clarence Smith and David Blockley of SAERI.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird expressed clearly his support for Canadian companies working in the Falklands, and his support for the people of the Falkland Islands to determine their own future.
“We support the self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands, as we do people everywhere around the world” said Mr. Baird, adding this was a firm stance as a result of the country’s policy.
In 2012, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper had prevented an Argentine request to get the Falklands/Malvinas' issue raised at the heads of state meeting at the Summit of the Americas.
The delegation also met with MPs from different political parties at the Ottawa parliament, all of them equally expressing support for Falklands' right to self determination,
MLA Summers was happy to report that as well as this tremendous show of support from the Canadian Ministry he believed the visit laid groundwork that will benefit the islands economically.
Opportunities of exchange in academic, industry and health sectors were clearly identified during the visit.
There was talk of offering opportunities of post-graduate study at SAERI from Canadian universities, and discussion about developing closer links that could see Falklands students studying in North America; while this is not prevented under the current system for further education, exploring the opportunities could make the region a more accessible and more logical choice.
“The default has been to go to the UK, but there are interesting courses that are cheaper for foreign students,” said MLA Summers.
He also held discussions with a remote medicine institute in Kingston, Canada, that could hopefully “fill a gap in the recruitment of doctors”. (FIG).-