Argentina and Canada have a multifaceted relationship built on a set of common interests. These include the commitment to human rights, democratic strengthening, the fight against terrorism, participation in international multilateral organizations, cooperation in the peaceful development of nuclear energy and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
In recent times, the relationship has been nurtured with issues of outstanding importance such as scientific-technological cooperation and prospects for advancing in energy issues that, beyond traditional cooperation in nuclear matters, increase the exchange of knowledge, experiences and technology related with sources of non-traditional energies.
The bilateral relationship highlights a series of historical events that began at the end of the nineteenth century and reach the present day.
In this sense, relations between Argentina and Canada date back to 1867, when the Canadian government made its first trade mission to Argentina and other countries in the region.
Since 1940, uninterrupted diplomatic relations have been maintained between the two countries and, in 1945, the first Argentine ambassador to Ottawa, Honorio Leguizamón Pondal, has been appointed. For its part, Canada appoints the same year to the first ambassador in Buenos Aires, Warwick Chipman.
In November 1961 President Arturo Frondizi visited Canada, responding to an invitation from the Government, in what constituted the first visit of an Argentine president to Canada.
In 1968, Canadian Foreign Minister Michael Sharp visited several countries in the region, including Argentina.
In 1972, the creation of the Argentine-Canadian Institute was announced in Ottawa to increase relations in the fields of science, education and commerce.
In 1976, the agreement for the construction of the nuclear power plant in the Rio Tercero Reservoir was signed.
In 1978 the first Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Montreal took place, and the visit of a large delegation of Canadian parliamentarians to Argentina.
During the decades of the '80s and' 90s, numerous commercial opportunities were created for Argentina and Canada. From the political point of view, the process of democratization in Latin America created a propitious field for a rapprochement between both countries.
In the 1990s, with Canada becoming a full member of the OAS, the two countries deepened their agreement, especially in areas such as Human Rights, promotion of democracy, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the environment.
Work was done on a number of issues, such as the defense of democracy in Peru and Haiti, the negotiation of the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court, the importance of the United Nations in resolving international or intrastate conflicts, the Ottawa Convention On anti-personnel mines, the Kyoto Protocols on Climate Change and Montreal on the ozone layer, similar positions with respect to the FTAA, coinciding votes in the United Nations, OAS - where both countries maintained coincident positions for the establishment of the Democratic Charter of the organization.
In 1994, the State visit of President Menem took place, which was matched by the visit of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in 1995.
In 1998 the Prime Minister returned to Argentina to lead a large delegation of businessmen and officials, made up of approximately 600 people. From then on, Canadian investments began to arrive in Argentina, particularly in the mining, industry and services sectors.
During this period the Argentine Consulate opened in Toronto and, in 1997, Argentina opened its Defense Adviser in Ottawa.
Argentina and Canada established bilateral mechanisms that allow periodic consultations:
- High Level Policy Consultations.
- Consultations on Nuclear Issues.
- Consultations on Human Rights.
It is worth noting the joint work carried out in Haiti with the "Pro-Huerta" Program which, between 2008 and 2013, has provided assistance to thousands of Haitian families.
Since 2012, the bilateral relationship suffered a period of deceleration due to discrepancies on the "Question of the Malvinas Islands" both within the framework of the Summit of the Americas and in the OAS General Assembly.
This has recently changed with the election of a new government in Argentina, which in conjunction with the election in October 2015 of a new government in Canada, headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, represents a great opportunity to relaunch the bilateral relationship through a comprehensive and constructive bilateral dialogue, seeking understandings on issues where differences may exist.
Both countries are also working collaboratively to address global economic challenges within the G20, which will be chaired by Argentina in 2018, the same year that Canada will chair the G7.
Argentina and Canada are also members of the International Holocaust Memorial Alliance, which was chaired by Canada until 2014.
In September 2016, the Standing Committee of the Canadian Senate for Foreign Affairs and International Trade undertook a research mission in Argentina with the purpose of consulting different individuals and groups on different topics of current relevance.
In October 2016, Vice-President Gabriela Michetti visited Toronto and Ottawa where she met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion.
In addition, President Macri and Prime Minister Trudeau met several times in 2016, specifically in January 2016 during the World Economic Forum in Davos, and again in March 2016 in Washington on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit .
In November 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau made an official visit to Argentina, where in addition to meeting with President Macri and high Argentine authorities, developed various activities such as: visiting the Memorial Park, participate in a business forum and hold a meeting with members of the Cirque du Soleil team, among others. The visit made it possible to reaffirm the good terms of the bilateral relationship.