Canadian diplomats are working to improve relations with Mexico by easing travel and trade restrictions.
Speaking out during a recent visit to Mexico, Canadian officials communicated their intent to sign an expanded airline access agreement which would increase direct flights between the two nations.
Relations have been strained between Canada and Mexico in light of Canada’s recent imposition of visitor visa requirements for travellers from Mexico. The policy, which has been publicly derided by Mexican officials, has been in place since 2009 when the Conservative government first embarked on its refugee system crackdowns.
However, the new agreement could signal a willingness on the part of the Canadian government to re-think the controversial policy.
Though they have been vocal in their disappointment with Canada’s recent visa regulation, Mexican officials expressed optimism that this new deal will improve relations, hinting that lifting visa requirements could be the next step.
“The new agreement […] certainly will help our trade, our business people, to move back and forth, as well as tourism,” said Mexico’s undersecretary for North America Sergio Alcocer Martinez, adding that “[i]t is important to facilitate the movement of people.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is facing extreme pressure to address the situation during his current visit to Mexico ahead of the upcoming North American leader’s summit with U.S. President Obama. Prime Minister Harper says that North American relations are among his government’s top priorities moving forward.
Source: Montreal Gazette