If you open your Canadian passport to the back page and read the four paragraphs of fine print, you’ll notice an odd legacy of the colonial past.
“In countries where there is no Canadian office,” it reads, “application may be made in an emergency to the nearest British diplomatic or consular office.”
In other words, Canada has maintained a consular tie to one of its former colonial masters (no such arrangement exists with France) since 1931, when the Statute of Westminster first allowed Canada to have its own embassies.
So the announcement by British foreign minister William Hague on Sunday that Canada and Britain will be sharing diplomatic resources in places where one of the two countries doesn’t have an embassy or a consulate is either, depending on your perspective, a minor amplification of an already-existing relationship, or an embarrassing return to a humiliating colonial role that Canada spent decades struggling to escape.
CLICK HERE to read the entire Globe and Mail article by Doug Saunders (Sept. 25, 2012).
YCVC Note: Doug Saunders is a member of Your Canada, Your Constitution’s Patrons Council.
Should a new Canadian Constitution make it clear that Canada is fully independent from Britain? You can send a letter letting key politicians across Canada know what you think HERE.