UK-Canada Agreement of Shared Embassies Gets Mixed Reviews in Canada

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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British Foreign Minister: William Hague The Foreign Minister of Canada, John Baird, is scheduled to attend a meeting with the British Foreign Minister, William Hague today in Ottawa. They are highly anticipated to announce an arrangement which will allow both the countries to share each other’s embassies in some countries hoping to reach more people at lesser cost. Hague hopes that after Canada, New Zealand and Australia will join in the deal as well.

This step is aimed to amplify Canada's diplomatic reach very efficiently. The proposal will only include the countries where Britain has an embassy and Canada does not or vice versa. Yesterday, Hague stated that he sees both Britain and Canada as "first cousins" and wishes that sharing each other’s embassies will provide both the countries "a bigger reach abroad for less cost."

This news is receiving mixed reviews even before it being officially confirmed. The opposition leader, MP Paul Dewar, suspects that the new agreement with the United Kingdom demonstrates that Canada is contented to be a ‘pawn in Britain's diplomatic game.’ He accused this arrangement is being kept secret from parliamentarians and Canadians alike. He raised his concerns highlighting that "if the U.K. is wanting to strengthen its resolve against the EU, we shouldn't be pawns in their game." Dewar openly criticized the opacity of the deal and claimed that the negotiations of the deal have not been done on fair grounds. Dewar said that considering the significance of the issue, it should have been brought for discussion in the Parliament.

On the other hand, another senior government official praised the deal by calling it an example of "out-of-the-box thinking." He did not only appreciate the deal but also praised the work of Baird saying that "Minister John Baird has since his appointment been pushing for exactly this type of arrangement with our allies. It increases our diplomatic reach in a cost-effective way."

The official announcement is expected to be made Monday afternoon in Ottawa.

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