The Journey Continues....
Mar 16, 2012
Excerpt from the Jamaica High Commission Newsletter - January-February 2012
Posted by: Claudia
Celebrating 50 years of Bilateral Relations: Jamaica and Canada Jamaica and Canada enjoy a close and mutually beneficial relations at the bilateral, regional, hemispheric and international levels. Canada is a major trading and investment partner, a major source of overseas development assistance, the largest market for tourist arrivals in Jamaica and home to a large Jamaican community. The seeds of this now vibrant relationship were sown when Jamaica and Canada formally established diplomatic relations on August 2nd, 1962. Canada was among the first three countries with which diplomatic Norma McNamee had been working in the Attorney General‟s Department in Kingston, Jamaica when she was asked in July 1962 to travel to Ottawa to work in the yet to be established Jamaica High Commission as Secretary to the High Commissioner. Along with the first few members of staff, she set about finding accommodation for themselves and then identifying a building which could house the first office: at the Royal bank Building on Sparks Street. Norma recalls that they received guidance from Canadian officials and the British High Commission at the time on basic protocol. She of course remembers the extremely cold weather, Mrs. Norma McNamee – First Member of Staff “..hers is a story of pride in the high quality of the service she rendered to the Jamaican High Commission in Ottawa and to the Government and people of Jamaica” relations were established. Action to establish the first High Commission for Jamaica in Canada began in April of 1962 when the first members of staff arrived in Ottawa. The High Commission was located at the RBC building on Sparks Street. Jamaica‟s first High Commissioner for Canada was H.E. Earl Maynier. The first Canadian High Commission in Kingston opened on the 7th September, 1962. On March 4th, 1963, Graham McInnes became Canada‟s first High Commissioner to Jamaica. The strength and importance of these relations have been marked by among other things, the exchange of official visits. These have taken place at the level of heads of government, ministers and senior officials on both sides. Technical cooperation in areas such as health, education, poverty alleviation, justice reform and local government reform, disaster and military cooperation has featured highly on the agenda for collaboration. Both countries have supported each other in the actions taken in international and regional organizations.