Canada Plus: April, May and June

Newsletter April 12th 2024

Canada Plus: April, May and June

Your quarterly email newsletter from the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom

We are excited to announce that this year, we will send out 100 Canada Day Party Packs to celebrate Canada Day in style with an assortment of Canadian items to make your day memorable. The party packs are sent across the UK to make this Canada Day celebration one to remember!

How can you participate?

All you need to do is email us the name of your favourite Canada Day dish and your full name and UK residential address to: LDNCanadaPlus@international.gc.ca. The first 100 people to email will secure one of our packs!

We would love to see photos of your celebrations on social media, so please remember to use #CanadaDayUK2024!

Good luck everyone!

A Message from the High Commissioner

Hello Everyone:

It’s April – welcome to SPRING in the United Kingdom!

Along with a bit warmer, sunnier weather (hopefully), this season brings with it some important milestones and commemorations for both Canada and the UK.

For example, our two countries are founding members of both the Commonwealth and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

They are two very different organizations, but this month they both mark their 75th anniversaries.

NATO has just expanded to include both Finland and Sweden (for a total of 32 countries altogether).  It’s showing unprecedented cohesion and determination in the face of Putin’s illegal invasion and war of aggression against Ukraine, and thus NATO is playing its most vigorous, most critical role right now in defence of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Not a military alliance, but instead a unique voluntary forum for engagement and collaboration amidst vast global diversity, the Commonwealth brings together 56 countries across five continents – big and small, north and south, east and west, wealthy and not-so-much, altogether 2.5 billion people – working toward multilateral solutions for some of the toughest social, economic, environmental and political challenges confronting our world today.

April 9th is always a key date for Canada. It’s the anniversary of our famous victory in 1917 at the battle of Vimy Ridge, and it’s designated a National Day of Remembrance for nearly 3,600 Canadians who died there and more than 7,000 who were wounded.  Their courage and skill helped to shape perceptions of Canada’s emerging national stature, 50-years-on from Confederation.

As we do every year, on April 25th, Canadians will join with Australia and New Zealand in honouring the bravery and sacrifice of their ANZAC corps at Gallipoli.

The following month, we will mark the 79th anniversary of Victory-in-Europe Day on May 8th.  More than a million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in WW2.  More than 45,000 gave their lives in that terrible conflict.  Together, we must ensure they are never forgotten.

In June, the culmination of this year’s commemorations will take place on the beaches of Normandy as France, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.  The armada that crossed the English Channel on the morning of June 6th, 1944, was the largest in world history, launching the final push to liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny.

June will also feature Canada’s National Indigenous Peoples Day (21st), Quebec’s Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (24th), and Canadian Multiculturalism Day (27th).  London Pride will dominate Trafalgar Square on June 29th, and then our Canada Day festivities will take over the Square on Sunday, June 30th.

I should mention one other important historical note – Canada House on Trafalgar Square was officially opened as the Canadian High Commission in the United Kingdom by King George V and Queen Mary on June 29th, 1925.  So this June, we will begin our Centennial Year as the most visible embassy in London – Canada’s oldest diplomatic outpost and our second largest in the world.

That brings me to the outstanding relationship that we enjoy with the UK.

You may have heard some news reports in recent days about a trade dispute between our two countries, and it’s correct to say we have a disagreement over a couple of market access issues. But it’s important to keep this in proper perspective.

Britain and Canada are great allies, partners and friends. We estimate that our overall economic relationship is valued at more than $410 billion.  About 10% of that (some $45B/year) is two-way trade in goods and services. It’s roughly in balance and it’s growing under the terms of a “Trade Continuity Agreement” (TCA) which we put in place with the British in 2021 following BREXIT. The TCA is on-going, providing market access in both directions that is 99% duty and quota free.

The current disagreement is only about the remaining 1%, while the 99% of our trade continues unaffected.

This past January, the UK decided they wanted to “pause” trade negotiations with Canada for awhile, just as they have done more recently in their trade talks with India.

From Canada’s point of view, this is disappointing, but we must keep calm and carryon.  The TCA continues to function successfully, and we are all set to resume the process whenever the British are ready to do so.

 

All for now!

Ralph Goodale
High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom

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