Canada Caribbean Institute: “Canada-CARICOM Relations are strong and are poised to get stronger”

by April 8, 2022

The Canada Caribbean Institute (CCI) congratulates the Governments of Canada and CARICOM Member States for their recent efforts to advance mutual relations and development. The April 1 meeting of Foreign Ministers saw a discussion focused on strengthened collaboration on security, multilateral cooperation, and building a sustainable #COVID19 recovery. The Ministers also called for the establishment of a joint commission to serve as a permanent mechanism that will formally deepen the partnership while advancing collaboration and cooperation. This will be launched by Leaders at the inaugural Canada-CARICOM Summit in the coming months.

“This is exactly the agenda that will help secure the positive, future relationship between Canada and the Caribbean and the commitment to advance this agenda in the context of a permanent coordination mechanism, and under the full guidance of leaders will promote success,” said Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies and Co-Chair of the CCI. The idea for the establishment of the CCI was conceptualized by Vice-Chancellor Beckles and former President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock University, Gervan Fearon, (the first Caribbean descendant to head a Canadian University Canada).

Lynn Wells, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Brock University, and Co-chair of the CCI, further noted that beyond government-to-government efforts, work is also underway to deepen the longstanding trade and economic links between businesses and organizations in Canada and the Caribbean. Wells observed that Trade Minister Ng will soon be leading a Canadian trade mission to the Caribbean (April 12-14) and said, “There are many synergies in the areas of financial services, natural resources, clean technology tourism and the education sectors that can be looked to for commercial arrangements and partnerships. In the education sector alone, we can look to areas such as encouraging research collaboration, student exchanges and scholarship administration.”

The Co-Chairs committed the CCI to assist governments to help harness the work of its member institutions to identify impediments and opportunities for advancing this future agenda. They disclosed, by way of example, that the CCI, in collaboration with CARICOM and the Canada International Council will be hosting a virtual CARICOM-Canada Policy Forum “Canada-CARICOM: Shaping an Evolving Partnership for Sustainable Development” on May 25, 2022. More information on this event will be available in due course at the CCI website and on social media.