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Fact sheet: Canada – United States: Neighbours, Partners, Allies

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, completed his first official visit to the United States (U.S.), meeting with President Barack Obama on March 10, 2016.  The visit afforded Prime Minister Trudeau an opportunity to renew the bilateral relationship with our closest neighbour, partner and ally.


Generating growth

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Barack Obama celebrated a deep nation-to-nation friendship based on unparalleled cooperation and over 25 years of free trade.

Canada and the U.S. have historically been each other’s largest trading partners.  Over $2.4 billion worth of goods and services cross the border every day, evidence of one of the largest and most mutually beneficial trading relationships in the world.  Canada-U.S. trade in goods and services reached $880 billion in 2015 and Canadian exports to the U.S. were about $450 billion representing more than 72% of all Canadian exports. During the last decade, the dollar value of the stock of U.S. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Canada increased by over 40 percent to $360 billion, accounting for almost 50 percent of FDI in Canada in 2014.

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama have highlighted the need to continue to facilitate trade between our two countries, to increase competitiveness and productivity and to support our integrated production networks at home and abroad.  To this end, they have instructed their ministers and officials to focus on key trade policy and commercial issues that can lead to further growth for our businesses and more jobs for our workers. Both sides are accelerating work under way, and, where relevant, developing new initiatives, including in the areas of border trade facilitation, strengthening supply chain benefits, innovation, and cybersecurity implications for business and trade.

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama noted their interest in a long term agreement on softwood lumber. The Leaders agreed that Ministers will intensively explore all options and report back within 100 days on the key features that would address this issue.

Canada welcomes the recent U.S. legislative and regulatory amendments to repeal country of origin labelling requirements for beef and pork.  As a consequence, Canada sees no need for trade action in this matter. Canada and the United States have a shared interest in a return to a fully integrated North American market for cattle and hogs that provides more opportunities and greater economic benefits for producers on both sides of the border.

Canada and the U.S. share the goal of enhancing shared prosperity, creating jobs, protecting workers and the environment and promoting sustainable economic development. Recognizing that the Trans Pacific Partnership, which links together countries that represent nearly 40 percent of global Gross Domestic Product, would advance these objectives, Canada and the U.S. are working to complete their respective domestic processes.

The leaders also underlined their commitment to work together on global trade issues, including at the World Trade Organization (WTO), APEC, and in the context of G20 efforts to reinvigorate global trade and investment. Both countries will also support work leading to the effective implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and will move forward with the Environmental Goods Agreement in cooperation with other WTO Members.

Cooperating on issues that affect our shared border  

In an increasingly complex and challenging security environment, Canada and the United States renewed our shared commitment to further deepen the longstanding cooperation along our shared border.  Our two countries commit to building on existing bilateral arrangements, particularly with respect to strengthened cooperation on measures to ensure the efficiency and security of our shared border. 

We have reinforced our intentions to bring into force the Canada-U.S. Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance.  Canada intends to introduce legislation in Spring 2016 to implement this Agreement. Building on more than 60 years of preclearance co-operation, this new Agreement will further enhance our countries’ mutual security and facilitate low-risk cross-border movement in all modes of travel. We have agreed in principle to expand preclearance to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Quebec City's JeanLesageInternationalAirport, as well as for rail service in Montreal and Vancouver.  Both countries will work to convert existing pre-inspection sites in British Columbia to full preclearance. We will also explore the conditions necessary for cargo preclearance and identify opportunities to pilot this approach.

Our two countries have also agreed to create a Canada-U.S. Redress Working Group to facilitate cross-border, aviation-related redress, increase transparency, expedite processing of any complaints, and streamline security list removal procedures.  These processes will help ensure the most accurate information available is used to protect both transportation and national security, while minimizing the impact to the traveling public.

Both countries will fully implement a system to exchange basic biographic entry information at the land border.  This builds on the process already in place for third-country nationals, and allows Canada and the U.S. to enhance border security in an effective and responsible way.  This will be done in a manner that respects our separate constitutional and legal frameworks, and protects our citizens’ right to privacy.

Advancing regulatory cooperation

Canada and the U.S.  are taking measures to advance and secure regulatory cooperation between our two countries going forward. Regulatory cooperation promotes economic growth, which benefits both consumers and businesses. 

Canada and the U.S. have the most integrated production and manufacturing relationship in the world.  We produce and manufacture together and we compete together.  This makes us partners navigating an increasingly complex global array of regulations in other countries and products coming to our shores.  Consumers in both countries desire the same high levels of quality and safety in products and protection for the environment.  Together, our regulatory systems are the key in achieving the best outcomes for our citizens and for our businesses.

We started our regulatory cooperation effort in 2011, and are now positioned to take the effort to its next level.  Efforts to align standards, from crude oil rail tanker and motor vehicle safety requirements to lifejackets and workplace chemicals,  to review products together, from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to a range of consumer products such as pain relievers and cosmetics, and collaborate on new technologies such as innovative information technology solutions for the deployment of interoperable connected vehicles, have and will continue to result in a steady stream of benefits for consumers and for business. 

For businesses to succeed we need to collaborate and better align our regulatory systems.  This will allow businesses to avoid unnecessary costs and duplicative procedures bringing products to consumers and markets.  And it will allow consumers to benefit from a more effective and efficient collective regulatory effort.  To that end, President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau are taking measures that will improve regulatory cooperation, and deepen the regulatory relationship between our two countries These measures include:

  1. Ensuring the advancement of regulatory cooperation – by forming a joint Canada–U.S. group of senior officials tasked to generate and implement regulatory cooperation initiatives between the two countries on an ongoing basis, and for the first time this will include senior officials of regulatory departments. A Canada-U.S. Secretariat will provide ongoing strategic direction and central oversight for the two countries.
  1. Bringing together a business, consumer and expert group on regulatory cooperation to ensure an ongoing focus on consumer and industry benefits and on international regulatory cooperation developments. This will allow for a greater emphasis on the consumer benefits of regulatory cooperation.
  1. Calling upon departments and agencies to generate ambitious short and medium term initiatives by meeting bi-nationally over the upcoming months to consider input from stakeholders, and to put in place/make public comprehensive and ambitious commitments and work plans by early summer.  Departments and agencies will meet annually thereafter to update and identify further areas for regulatory cooperation.

Responsible and sustainable development in the Arctic

Canada and the United States are also close Arctic neighbours joined by shared history, coastlines and borders.  New Arctic collaborations provide a momentous occasion for our two great countries to forge a renewed partnership to confront challenges and seize abundant opportunities. To Canada, the Arctic is central to our identity; an essential part of our collective heritage and future.  Canada has long been committed to the protection of the Arctic environment and to the sustainable development of its potential, informed by Indigenous partnerships, for the benefit of Arctic residents and all Canadians. We will continue to gather and use scientific evidence, as well as traditional and local knowledge from Indigenous Peoples, for the insight they bring to our understanding of how the Arctic is changing. We are also committed to deepening our understanding through many partnerships with the U.S. such as the Polar Knowledge Canada collaboration on NASA’s Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE). Today, we have announced our commitment to achieving existing goals for protected areas and setting ambitious next generation goals, as well as developing a vision for migratory bird conservation for the next 100 years.

The sustainable development of the Arctic also relies on the development of the highest standards to manage oil and gas development and offshore shipping and fishing. It relies also on transformation of its energy base towards alternative and renewable fuels. Indigenous groups and other Northerners are at the heart of Arctic sustainable development and renewed attention will be paid to health ( including mental health), skills development and education so a new generation of Arctic leaders and stewards can emerge. Canada welcomes the twentieth anniversary of the Arctic Council, with the Ottawa Declaration signed in 1996, and will continue to collaborate with the U.S. in this important forum.  Canada commits to renewing its Arctic policies and strategies in collaboration with its provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous Peoples, Northern stakeholders to guide our action and collaboration. 

As important as supporting the social and economic growth of indigenous peoples, is the need to respect their governance rights. Indigenous peoples in Canada have an inherent right to self-government, which will drive greater social and economic success than state-governance, such as the Indian Act in Canada. Self-government is essential to the process of reconciliation that has been extensively examined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in order to continue rebuilding what was lost due to many decades of government policies related to colonization, assimilation, and disempowerment.


Canada will host the North American Leaders Summit in 2016, with the timing to be determined by mutual agreement of the three countries.

Climate change

Following the successful Canadian First Ministers’ meeting on clean growth and climate change, Canada and the U.S. have established a new partnership to provide leadership to promote clean growth and combat climate change. We will sign the Paris Agreement on April 22, 2016, and work together to support its full implementation.  In 2016, we are committed to completing mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, as called for under the Paris Agreement. Canada and the U.S. will take a range of actions domestically and globally to reduce carbon pollution, including reducing by 2025 our methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 - 45 percent below 2012 levels, phasing down the use and emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and reducing on-road vehicle emissions. We will work together to strengthen North American energy security and accelerate clean energy development and technology innovation, including in electric vehicle development and integration.

Cooperating in the Americas

Canada and the U.S. will continue to work closely together to support democratic governance in Haiti. As partners of Haiti and the Haitian people, both countries encourage Haiti’s political actors to work together so that the partial legislative elections and second round of presidential elections may be held on April 24, 2016. Haitians deserve to have their voices heard, their votes respected, and to be governed by democratically-elected leaders. 

Haitians also deserve a safe and secure environment where they can live and prosper free from fear. Canada and the U.S. will continue to work together to support the development of a national police force that is adequately staffed and trained to maintain security, respect human rights and make Haitian communities throughout the country safer. 

Through the efforts of the international community, and increasingly of Haitians, the Haitian National Police has made important progress since 2004. But an additional effort is needed to arrive at its force strength of 15,000 police officers, which is defined by the UN Security Council as the minimal staff threshold required. Both Canada and the U.S. have deployed police officers to the UN Mission for Stabilisation in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to help train and mentor the Haitian police.

After more than 50 years of conflict, Colombia is making progress on the path towards peace.  Both the U.S. and Canada have long had cooperation efforts in the country and are ready to support Colombia in the implementation of a future peace agreement.  In particular, Canada has agreed to join the effort led by the U.S. and Norway to establish a Global Demining Initiative for Colombia. Landmines kill or maim thousands of people every year, inhibit Colombia’s prospects for economic growth and limit the ability of the government to ensure security for its citizens.  International efforts are needed to help Colombia become landmine free and to meet its commitment under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (the Ottawa Convention).

Addressing the global refugee crisis

Canada and the U.S. reaffirm the importance of finding durable solutions for those who have been displaced. The two countries share longstanding humanitarian traditions that include a strong commitment to refugee protection through support for local integration efforts, opportunities for repatriation and expanded resettlement spaces. Together, both countries are exploring opportunities to deepen this commitment and demonstrate leadership to better address global responsibility sharing and to work with the international community to respond to record levels of protracted situations of displacement around the world. As two of the world’s key donors to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), both countries recognize the importance of balancing migration, security, humanitarian and development considerations. Through partnerships with UNHCR, both countries are committed to addressing humanitarian needs and securing lasting solutions for refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.

Canada is reviewing efforts to support the establishment of new global goals for resettlement and humanitarian admission opportunities for refugees. This will build on Canada’s commitments to respond to such crises in a comprehensive, integrated, and sustainable way, including through the resettlement of 25,000 Syrian refugees and our commitment to provide $1.1 billion over three years to address humanitarian and development needs in Iraq and Syria and the surrounding region. This multi-year assistance will fund projects that seek to address the vulnerabilities of refugees and build their self-reliance and inclusion in neighbouring host communities, including through education and legal employment opportunities, as well as the resilience of the host communities themselves.

Canada will continue to explore, and calls on other states to explore, increasing resettlement spaces and seeking alternatives to provide all displaced populations in need of protection with legal pathways for safe migration.  These issues will be discussed at various fora, including at the UN High Level Meeting on Pathways for Admission of Syrian Refugees on March 30, 2016 in Geneva. In this spirit, Canada will continue to promote best practices and help build capacity in other countries’ resettlement and asylum systems.

At the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May, Canada will work to advance the United Nations Secretary General’s goal to re-energize our collective commitment to humanity and to initiate concrete commitments that set a forward looking agenda for humanitarian action. This includes reinforcing the centrality of principled humanitarian action, protection and International Humanitarian Law, and promoting the importance of adopting new and innovative approaches to addressing protracted humanitarian situations, including in regards to displaced peoples.  Canada will work with the humanitarian community to address the recommendations of the Secretary General’s High Level Humanitarian Financing Panel, including support for innovative approaches to financing and joint efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the system.

Canada will also strengthen its advocacy and engagement efforts with the international community to produce concrete commitments following the September 19, 2016 special high-level plenary session of the UN General Assembly on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants (New York). Canada also deeply appreciates and looks forward to playing a key role at President Obama’s September 19, 2016 Leaders-Level Refugee Summit.

Cooperation on Global Health Security

The Zika virus has spread rapidly within the Americas region and the outbreak has outlined the need to support efforts to control the virus. There are concerns that the virus may be contributing to increased rates of both microcephaly (abnormally small head development in fetuses) and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare condition that causes the immune system to attack the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called Zika a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in relation to the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil.  Canada and the U.S. believe that a strong North American partnership to address the virus outbreak will serve not only to protect our citizens, but is also an important shared effort with our neighbours in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

To that end, Canada and the U.S. commit to collaborate on several fronts to respond to Zika and vector-borne disease outbreaks in the region, specifically in areas of surveillance and laboratory capacity, sharing of laboratory specimens, and the development of medical countermeasures, including diagnostics. In line with their G7 commitment and the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), both countries recognize the importance of full implementation of the International Health Regulations in the Western Hemisphere to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by Zika and other emerging diseases.

The two countries also agree to support the advancement of scientific and public health response efforts and agree to deploy scientists and public health experts to support countries in the region, as requested, to respond to Zika and vector-borne disease outbreaks. In addition, Canada and the U.S. commit to promoting an efficient and coordinated response to the Zika virus through increased engagement with the WHO, Pan American Health Organization, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), non-governmental organizations, and academic and research institutions. For example, Canada has provided $1 million in response to appeals from the WHO and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to combat the Zika virus.

Canada and the U.S. strongly support the reform efforts of the WHO to strengthen its capacity to respond to all emergencies with health consequences. The two countries also recognize the serious threats that infectious diseases pose to national, regional and global health and security. Canada and the U.S. recall the unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2014-2015 and commit to take further actions to mitigate Ebola and other infectious disease threats in West Africa in 2016. Both countries likewise commit to further support efforts to strengthen global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases threats whether naturally occurring, deliberate, or accidental. Canada and the U.S. express their support for the GHSA and the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction as important tools for building global capacity to prevent, protect against, detect, report and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in humans and animals, to mitigate human suffering and the loss of human life, and to mitigate economic and security impacts.

Canada, through its Global Partnership Program (Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction), will provide up to $20 million in 2016 to assist up to 15 countries fulfill commitments under the GHSA.  This programming will focus among other priorities, on strengthening biosafety and biosecurity for dangerous pathogens and on enhancing disease prevention and detection capabilities to strengthen the global capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats. In coordination with Global Partnership deliverables, Canada and the U.S. will closely coordinate assistance in priority countries, including by encouraging and supporting the development of national plans to achieve the targets of the GHSA..

Canada and the United States also express their ongoing commitment to support the Government of Jordan to address the many challenges posed by the ongoing crisis in Syria, including through Canada/U.S. collaboration to support the implementation of all Action Packages of the GHSA in Jordan.

In addition, Canada remains committed to the full implementation of the International Health Regulations, which directly compliments and helps achieve the objectives of the GHSA, and will support 13 countries and one regional program in this regard.

Empowering Adolescent Girls

There are over 500 million adolescent girls currently living in developing countries who should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Investment in services for girls, particularly for those in the poorest and most vulnerable countries, during this important juncture in their maturity results in transformative impacts on their lives, their families and their communities. Adolescence is a critical period, yet many young women face limited access to quality education, health care, and economic opportunities. They also face sexual-and-gender-based violence and harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage. The full realization of their human rights is essential to the achievement of the sustainable development goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda. 

Canada and the U.S. recognize the importance of addressing adolescent girls’ challenges in developing countries through our international development approaches. We will continue to work together, aligning our activities in the developing countries in which we work, strengthening the evidence base, and sharing solutions. Together with the U.S. we will explore opportunities to further coordinate efforts to support the empowerment of adolescent girls including working closely with the U.S. through a number of organizations and fora that strive to address these barriers, such as the Global Partnership for Education and the Together for Girls Partnership.

Since 2013, Canada has announced over $80 million in new targeted programming to end child, early and forced marriage and to support women and girls who are already married, including through support for UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  Regarding ending child, early and forced marriage, Canada and the U.S. will deepen our collaboration by working together in multilateral institutions and directly with women, girls, and leaders in high prevalence countries to advocate for laws, policies and programs that address the causes and consequences of this practice.  This will include working together to secure wide-spread and cross-regional support for the resolution on child, early and forced marriage that is being co-led by Canada and Zambia at the United Nations General Assembly this fall.  Canada and the U.S. will also identify opportunities to address this practice in the Americas, where it persists in a number of communities.

We also recognize that healthy adolescent girls will be critical to our collective success in implementing and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the 2030 agenda. Canada and the U.S. will accelerate action on addressing adolescent girls’ health needs, including action related to sexual reproductive health and rights and maternal newborn and child health. Canada’s leadership in this area is demonstrated by a $3.5 billion commitment for our efforts in maternal newborn and child health for 2015-2020, which includes $220 million to the Global Financing Facility to support the goals of the Every Woman Every Child global movement and the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. 

Canada’s development assistance in Tanzania is focused on reducing maternal mortality, improving the quality of education, and addressing sexual violence and harmful practices, including child, early and forced marriage. Together with the U.S. we will explore opportunities to strengthen coordination on efforts to reduce barriers and support the empowerment of adolescent girls.

Food Security in Ethiopia

Canada and the U.S. are concerned by the ongoing drought in Ethiopia, caused by a powerful El Niño effect, which has resulted in over 10 million people requiring emergency food assistance, and 400,000 children facing severe acute malnutrition.  Based on lessons learned from previous droughts in East Africa, Canada has responded early to this crisis by providing $35 million in humanitarian assistance. In addition, Canada is committed to finding long-term solutions to food insecurity, including through ongoing joint support for 8.2 million food-insecure people through Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program.

Canada and the U.S. also continue to support development assistance projects that will increase the productivity of Ethiopian agriculture, and increase the resilience of vulnerable households to the effects of climate change.  The two countries are working with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre to support the development and distribution of more nutritious maize varieties. Canada also continues to look for ways to engage with partners to mitigate the effects of the drought. For example, Canada has provided over $19 million to become the lead financial supporter in creating the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Djibouti Logistics Hub. The Hub is the main gateway for food entering Ethiopia, and will allow WFP to dispatch humanitarian assistance where it is needed most.  Canada will continue to follow this situation closely and will provide support on the basis of need.

Power Africa

In accordance with the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), the Sustainable Development Goals on renewable energy and climate action, and commitments made at the G7 and COP21, Canada and the U.S. are committed to providing assistance to countries in Africa that have limited access to renewable energy. Canada believes it is important to work through partnerships and investments to have maximum impact on addressing the energy gap in Africa. Canada also recognizes the important work the U.S. is doing in this regard through its Power Africa initiative. Both countries have agreed on a memorandum of understanding to better coordinate our collective engagement on helping Africa increase its access to renewable energy.


Cyber Issues

Canada and the U.S. share a strategic interest in preserving an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet given its importance to our collective prosperity, security and commitment to democracy and human rights. The two countries share a common commitment to international stability in cyberspace, where the international community can continue to benefit from innovation and where states have an incentive to cooperate against common threats and to avoid conflict. To achieve these goals, Canada and the U.S. will continue to work closely together to achieve global affirmation of the applicability of international law to state behaviour in cyberspace, to promote voluntary peacetime cyber norms of responsible state behavior, to enhance efforts to respond to cyber incidents of concern, and to support work on these issues within the relevant global and regional organizations. This commitment is reflected in our endorsement of the 2015 UN Group of Governmental Experts consensus report and the 2015 G20 Summit statement endorsing norms for state behaviour in cyberspace. Both Canada and the U.S. fully support the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime which provides a common base for defining cybercrime, as the best tool to fight cybercrime at the international level, and call upon other states to consider ratifying the Convention.

Canada and the U.S. will further cooperate to enhance critical infrastructure security, cyber incident management, engagement and information sharing on cybersecurity with the private sector, and public awareness of cybersecurity good practices. In support of that effort, the two countries will continue ongoing cybersecurity capacity building programming, including by supporting programs of the Organization of American States and the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise.  Canada and the U.S. are partnering on a new cybercrime capacity building initiative to strengthen cybersecurity and combat cybercrime, by delivering regional training workshops for partner countries in the Americas to strengthen their participation in the G7’s 24/7 Network, which connects national law enforcement points of contact in the battle against high-tech crime.

Continental defence

The long history of Canada-U.S. partnership on defence is based on shared interests, common values and a joint commitment to the defence of North America.  This close relationship is reflected in a wide array of bilateral institutions, arrangements and agreements, most notably the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD). 

For the past 60 years, Canada and the U.S. have closely cooperated through NORAD making it a critical element of North American defence and an effective unique binational command relationship.  Both countries will explore options to ensure that NORAD can and will evolve to meet existing and emerging challenges.  As a key part of this effort, we are examining opportunities for the renewal of the North Warning System (NWS).

Canada and the U.S. enjoy a comprehensive and unique bilateral defence materiel relationship, which spans the full spectrum of cooperation, from defence production and logistics to research and development and test and evaluation.  The agreements that underpin this materiel cooperation have encouraged integrated military planning and extensive cooperation on issues of defence production and trade.

The richness of the Canada-U.S. relationship has also enabled ongoing strategic dialogue and close cooperation on global defence and security issues and challenges, including through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and in various ad-hoc coalitions.

Both countries are working closely with other coalition partners to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.  Canada appreciates the U.S. leadership of the coalition. Canada recently outlined its comprehensive contribution to the coalition, which leverages Canada’s value-added expertise and includes an investment of approximately $1.6 billion over three years for humanitarian and development assistance, as well as stabilization, security, military assistance and training. Canada and the U.S. will continue their efforts to cut off ISIL’s access to financing and funding, stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, counter ISIL’s propaganda, and engage in other security and stabilization efforts.

The close cooperation between Canada and the U.S. is also reflected in our long-standing involvement in campaigns against illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean since 2006. In 2015, the most successful year of such operations for Canada, approximately 18.5 metric tons of cocaine and 3 metric tons of marijuana were seized or disrupted.   

Protecting Europe

Canada continues to cooperate closely with the U.S. in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and its support to insurgents in eastern Ukraine. Canada sees the Minsk agreements as the only feasible path to peace and will maintain pressure on Russia to implement its commitments, notably through economic sanctions. In coordination with the U.S. and other partners and allies, Canada has imposed sanctions against more than 270 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities in connection with their respective roles in the Ukraine crisis.

Canada has also committed more than $700 million in assistance to Ukraine as it implements reforms to strengthen its democracy and respect for the rule of law, and to facilitate economic stability and prosperity. 

Canada and the U.S. continue to support the OSCE role in de-escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia, as well as its Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.  Canada has deployed approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel to Ukraine to develop and deliver military training and capacity building to Ukrainian forces personnel.  Canada will continue to coordinate its efforts in Ukraine through the Multinational Joint Commission, for coordinating Ukrainian requests for security related aid, and the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, to coordinate military training in Ukraine. In addition, both Canada and the U.S. have provided significant assistance to police reform in Ukraine.

Canada and the U.S. plan to enhance joint efforts to support the Government of Ukraine to bolster energy security and meet its energy needs through on-going energy resilience planning efforts as well as through the broad support of Ukraine's energy reforms (regulatory, fiscal, statistics and policy).  These reforms will help attract investment to Ukraine’s natural resource sector and to energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.

In spring 2016, Canada will launch an initial multilateral effort with the U.S. and the European Union to assist Ukraine in implementing open data and geoscience reforms that would support future exploration and development of natural resources, including minerals and energy resources.  This builds on numerous scoping missions to Ukraine over 2014-15.

Keeping the world safe

The Government of Canada has made clear its intent to increase Canadian engagement in the full spectrum of multilateral peace operations, as a vital instrument to strengthen international peace and security, and bring stability to conflict-affected states. Canada will stand ready to do its part, through future direct military and police contributions and via new support for conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding. Canada is now developing its strategy to deliver on this commitment in consultation with the United Nations and our close allies like the U.S., as well as with diverse global partners and Canadian civil society. 

This strategy will draw upon the recommendations of the 2015 UN High Level Independent Panel Report on Peace Operations, including its emphasis on modernized approaches to peacekeeping. The Government of Canada recognizes the important leadership undertaken by President Obama and his Administration in advancing international support for UN peace operations and its reform agenda over the past several years. Canada is proud to join with the U.S. and other countries in signalling this renewed commitment to peace operations.

Canada recognises that peace operations will be a critical part of a spectrum of actions to address instability in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions.  Canada will employ all of its international assets to develop integrated responses to such challenges, based on careful analysis of each situation.  Our actions may also include humanitarian assistance; long-term development; capacity building; governance advice; prevention of conflict; training in military, civilian and law-enforcement functions; counter-terrorism and military action, when necessary, with allies and partners.

Canada’s strategy will build upon our own national strengths and our global values, including our status as a multicultural and bilingual nation which is committed to gender equality.  This fundamentally Canadian character is central to how we will approach our role in the 21st century, and to the work we must undertake to better understand and address the causes of conflict, prevent strife, stabilize and strengthen the foundations for a better future in conflict-affected and fragile states. We will explore ways to help the UN address the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse within peace operation missions, and seek to support other areas of UN reform in its peacekeeping policies and structures.

Canada is prepared to commit further personnel and enabling capabilities to UN peacekeeping operations. Canada is currently conducting a reconnaissance mission to inform future consideration of potential contributions in Africa, and actively exploring the best means to support Colombia in the implementation of its historic Peace Accord, including through the new UN Peace Monitoring Mission. Canada is also prepared to offer direct expert support to fill UN staff positions where key gaps exist in consultation with the UN and based on their needs.

Canada and the U.S. are committed to ongoing cooperation on nuclear security and to achieving a successful 2016 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington, D.C. at the end of the month. Both countries emphasize the importance of revitalizing nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts and overcoming the longstanding impasse in multilateral disarmament bodies. As a demonstration of the commitment to achieving progress on these issues, both Canada and the U.S. are determined to advance a treaty dealing with fissile material in 2016.  While recognizing the Conference on Disarmament is the most appropriate forum for negotiations, the two countries believe that the venue is less important than the issue, and look forward to working with partners to meaningfully advance discussions in the months to come.