16 June, 2016 (Ottawa, Canada) – On an overcastday in Canada`s capital,ForeignMinister Mark Brantley made history by joiningHigh CommissionerSkerritt-Andrew inofficiallyopening the Federation`s first independentchancery in Canada. Gathered at the auspicious occasion were senior representatives of the host country, members of the Ottawa diplomatic corps and nationals and friends of St. Kitts and Nevis.
MinisterBrantley in his speech recalled St. Kitts and Nevis and Canada`s long standing relationshipwhilehighlightingthat the relationshippredated the establishment of diplomatic relations on 11 October, 1983. The ForeignMinister reminded that there is a strong tradition of migration, investment and educational exchanges thatanchors the strategicrelationship. He thankedCanadians for their confidence in the Federation by statingthat, “many Canadians who have journeyed to our shores and have contributed to our own national development – be it in the areas of hospitality, tourism or education. Renown establishments such as the five diamond Four Seasons Resort Nevis, the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino, the Royal St. Kitts Hotel (formerly Jack Tar) as well as Windsor University are all Canadian in some shape or form. Investors hailing from Canada have often found opportunity on our shores and a home for their families.” The Minister used the opportunity to express the government`s desire to see such investments and positive contributions continued.
On the Canadian side, Hon. Matt Decourcey, the ParliamentarySecretary to Canada`sMinister of ForeignAffairsused the opportunity to express Canada`sowndelight in welcoming St. Kitts and Nevis return to the Canadian diplomaticscene. He underscored the importance of embassies in a changing world and the value of being on the ground to truly influence outcomes.
After a briefceremonywhichsawasoaringviolinrenditionof both national anthems by Gifford Ko of Taiwan and a prayer by Reverend Tony Hadley, MinisterBrantleyofficiallycut the ribbon to the new chancery -effectivelyushering in a new era of heightened engagement.
The opening of the new High Commission marks a recalibration of St. Kitts and Nevis foreignpolicy in line withCanada`sincreasinghemispheric and global leadership role.