On Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary William Hague are expected to announce that Canada and the United Kingdom will begin sharing space and resources at foreign embassies. The cost-cutting measure, however, is gathering some criticism from those who feel that Canada’s separate foreign policy directions will be overshadowed by the association with the more powerful United Kingdom.
The proposal specifically says that Canada and Britain will “co-locate” only in countries where one of the nations does not have an embassy, a spokesperson for Hague told reporters. Not only will the U.K and Canada share real estate, but sources say the two countries will work together in representing civilians abroad and dealing with emergencies. Sharing space and services in embassies abroad is not new, Canada and Britain already have a number of shared arrangements, and Britain also shares embassy space with Australia.
In the Canadian House of Commons, opposition critics have called the move another attempt to put a colonial, British veneer on Canada’s foreign policy.