Justin Trudeau Formally Commits to Lifting the Mexican Visa Requirements
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, has formally committed to removing the visa requirements for Mexican citizens hoping to enter Canada. The policy was imposed by the Conservative government in 2009 to stem the flow of Mexicans seeking asylum in Canada.
Mexico’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, said that Trudeau confirmed the commitment during a face-to-face meeting at the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey.
“Justin Trudeau confirmed that he has signalled his cabinet to remove in the future the Canadian visa requirement for Mexicans,” Pena Nieto wrote in Spanish in a post on Twitter Sunday.
A statement from the prime minister’s office said that Trudeau had discussed the matter with Pena Nieto. They spoke about climate change, “reiterated the (election) platform commitment to lift the visa requirement on Mexican citizens.”
The requirements had become an irritant between the two countries with the Mexican ambassador saying in 2013 that he was “really mad” at Steven Harper’s Conservative government.
Olivier Duchesneau, the deputy director of communications for Trudeau, could not say when Mexicans would be able to travel to Canada without a visa. He told CBC News over the phone that the prime minister had instructed members of his cabinet to move forward with the change.
Top Priorities for Liberal Government
Trudeau has instructed the Foreign Affairs Minister Stepahne Dion in a mandate letter that was made public last Friday to lift the Mexican visa requirements. Trudeau has said that he expects Dion to work with other cabinet colleagues to “strengthen trilateral North American co-operation with the United States and Mexico.”
The top priority for Dion according to Trudeau’s mandate letter is to “support the minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship in lifting the Mexican visa requirement.”
Another top priority is to “work with relevant ministers, including the ministers of international trade and environment and climate change, to prepare for the North American Leaders Summit in Canada.”
3 Amigos Summit Soon?
The Mexican president has also said that he and Trudeau discussed the trilateral annual summit between the prime minister of Canada and the presidents of Mexico and the United States. Canada is set to host the summit at the end of the year.
“We agreed on the importance of realizing before long the North American Leaders’ Summit,” said Nieto in a subsequent post on Twitter.
The last North American Leader’s Summit was hosted by Mexico in February of 2014. Canada has not hosted the summit since 2007 when it as hosted in Montebello, Que.
Duchesneau told CBC News that no date or location has been set for the summit. The Three Amigos Summit was set for February but it was postponed by the Conservative government.
The decision to push back the summit came as the general election in Canada and a decision by the U.S. president on the approval of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline was still pending.
U.S. President Barack Obama recently rejected the pipeline application, ending a seven-year saga that became an irritant in Canada-U.S. relations.
Pena Nieto also said on Twitter that he concluded his meeting with Trudeau by inviting him to visit Mexico.
As you can see, things are starting to change in Canada and Justin Trudeau is sticking to the promises that his party made during the election campaign.