Canada supports the self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands

30 Aug

From the Wall Street Journal.

Gold miner Barrick Gold Corp. has lobbied Ottawa over its support for the Falklands Islands, wading into a centuries’ old controversy and highlighting the increased complexities of doing business in Argentina, the country that claims the south Atlantic Islands.

This week, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird revealed that the world’s largest gold producer had lobbied the government over its position supporting the right of Falkland Islanders to retain the territory’s status as a protectorate of the U.K.

Argentina claims the islands mainly on the grounds that it and the Falklands were both briefly part of the Spanish empire. The islands have been a British overseas territory since 1833, a status quo the three thousand-plus islanders say they want to keep.

Canada says it supports the islander’s position. At this April’s Summit of the Americas, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stymied an Argentinian request to get the Falkland’s issue onto the meeting of heads of state’s concluding communiqué, raising Argentinian ire, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Baird told reporters on Tuesday that Barrick–which has two gold mines in Argentina–had “raised a concern” about the government’s position among other matters. The lobbying appears to have had little effect in Ottawa.

“The issue of Canada’s policy does not change, we support the self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands, as we do people everywhere around the world,” Mr. Baird said.


One Response to “Canada supports the self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands”

  1. John Newcomb August 30, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Great that FM Baird ignored Barrick Gold Corp on this issue – first at the OAS Summit in Cartagena, where both US and Canadian First Ministers agreed on a pro-Falklands position, and secondly at the OAS General Assembly the next month in Cochabamba, where Canada alone clearly dissented from the Argentine position (so no applause from other OAS reps and their minions), while US took a more ambiguous position (muted, brief applause).

    I’d like to think that what really prompted FM Baird’s position was my deadly-powerful email to him, to our Canadian OAS Mission, with copy to British High Commissioner to Canada. But maybe it was just the correctness of the cause…

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