Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada to Celebrate Centennial

(No. 147 - June 1, 2009)The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today invite Canadians to mark the 100th anniversary of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT):

“The Department of External Affairs was created in June 1909 and was first located above a modest barbershop on Sparks Street in Ottawa,” said Minister Cannon. “As we mark our centennial, Canadians can be proud of a modern foreign and trade ministry that has grown along with Canada’s evolving role in the global community.”

“For the past hundred years, Canadians have been well-served by a team of dedicated men and women who have pursued our nation’s interests the world over, often in the most challenging areas,” said Minister Day. “This centennial allows us to celebrate their legacy, and to look to the future with confidence as DFAIT continues to work for Canada around the globe.”

“Today, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advances Canada’s foreign affairs and international trade priorities through its headquarters in Ottawa-Gatineau, 17 regional offices across Canada and an extensive network of over 170 embassies, high commissions, consulates and trade offices in 110 countries. In addition, it provides Canadians with passport, consular, and emergency services in Canada and abroad,” added Minister Cannon.

This morning, Minister Cannon participated in a ceremony to celebrate this important date in the department’s history. The ceremony included the unveiling of a special stamp developed by Canada Post to commemorate the centennial.

On Saturday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as part of Doors Open Ottawa, the department will welcome members of the general public to its headquarters, the Lester B. Pearson Building at 125 Sussex Drive. Kiosks and displays will showcase Canada’s priorities in foreign affairs and international trade, as well as the services the department provides to Canadians.

For more information on Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s centennial and history, please consult:Celebrating our past, embracing our future.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
international.gc.ca

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
international.gc.ca/commerce