Welcome roomie: Canada to share embassy space with U.K.


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.

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Welcome roomie: Canada to share embassy space with U.K.

  1. For a man who claims he knows Canadians don’t like surprises, this is a majorly bad move on his part….and yet another one Canadians weren’t asked about.

  2. The Harper Government keeps winding back the clock on progress. Now they want to erase the independence we established from Britain over the past 80 years… When the Government of Canada is restored, it will have little choice but to bring in Harper-style phone-book-sized omnibus bills just to turn Harperland back into Canada. Hopefully when Harper is gone, all that will remain is an ugly legacy thankfully forgotten.

  3. How can we be imposing our policies on Canada & theirs on us? We are talking about consular assistance for stressed citizens in locations where we or Canada do not have a physical presence of our own so we or Canada will not be stepping on anyones toes. We speak the same language so this has to be a good thing? I’d sooner visit a Canadian mission than an EU one & find that the people at the mission speak German, French or Polish! Clearly we will each have a presence with the likes of Japan, China & Russia etc which is where actual foreign policy will be called into judgement but the missions in places like Fiji or Mauritius are only ever going to be about looking out for our citizens well being in those parts of the world. I for one think its a good thing to know there is help in English across the entire world where possible.

  4. why is it a bad idea? it will save money and will give Canadians more options. I think it is pretty smart

    • If Harper wanted to save Canadians money, he wouldn’t have imported the failed Republican war on drugs which will double the cost of the prison system ($5B/yr increase according to the Budget Officer he appointed.) This move gives Canada less options on foreign policy, not more.

  5. No thank you

  6. Speaking of consular support for our citizens abroad… would this move mean that Brits find themselves abandoned abroad as Canadians have been abandoned by their government, or will British consular officials shame Canadian officials into finally leaving their cocktail parties and taking their duties seriously?

    I don’t know if it would be a good move or not, if it had been properly presented to Parliament and Canadians, but it was not. The questionable “government” that has routinely abandoned Canadians in trouble abroad, has also routinely abandoned all democratic principles.

    • Maybe Britain will have to send its citizens back to Guantanamo until Vic has a chance to look at their interview tapes …

  7. I was livid when I saw the news last night regarding embassy sharing. I agree that we are going backwards and it reminded me of the young people who felt that they couldn’t make it on their own, so are moving back in with Mom & Dad. If we can’t afford our own embassies, we should be done with the monarchy (once the dear Queen is gone), and get rid of our Governor General and Lieutenant Governors and use that money. Is Harper trying to push Quebec away??? He frightens me as he is like a dictator and even his own party has no say!
    Are our foreighn policies alway in sync with Britain???

  8. So long as it all stops and “sharing real estate” and helping each other out in “emergencies”, I’d be supportive of this measure. however, knowing harper government’s penchant for sabotaging promises… I would keep a careful eye on subsequent dfait actions

  9. Is this government hopelessly tone-deaf when it comes to the optics of such a measure in Quebec? Or, having simply given up on that province, are they now cynically counting on solidifying their support among the francophobic element in their own (mostly-western) base?

    • I wonder what the lingua franca of the combined embassies will be?

      • mid-Atlantic accent, a la Cary Grant?

  10. Sounds like Welcome Romney.

  11. Canada and Australia already represent each other in areas where one does not have formal representation, mainly in the Americas for Australia and in the Pacific for Canada, some 26 locations around the world. It seems to work.

  12. I think bloggers are being abit sensitive here with the UK/Canada connection. The Swiss are representing the US in Iran. There is no ridiculous talk about Switzerland losing its independance or vice versa. Oh wait a minute, I forgot about your US phobia…it just makes it worse that they are doing something similiar.

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