Minister of State Kent Marks Jamaica’s Independence Day

No. 218 - August 6, 2009 (4:10 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today issued the following statement congratulating the Jamaican people as they celebrate their country’s Independence Day:

"Canada congratulates Jamaicans everywhere as they mark the 47th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence. Canada and Jamaica have long enjoyed a warm and mutually beneficial relationship, based on our shared Commonwealth history, significant political and commercial links, and extensive people-to-people ties. Our academic cooperation is being strengthened as Canada welcomes Jamaican students through the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program and the Canada-Caribbean Community Leadership Scholarship Program.

"Jamaica is an important partner for Canada as we address challenges in the hemisphere and pursue opportunities for shared prosperity. This cooperation is further strengthened by the valuable contributions from Jamaican-Canadians to Canadian society in areas such as business, politics, sports, and the arts. At more than 230,000, Jamaicans represent the largest Caribbean community in Canada.

"Prime Minister Harper noted the significance and scope of these relations when we visited Jamaica in April 2009. It is in the spirit of friendship that Canada congratulates Jamaica and looks forward to continued cooperation between our two nations."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Eleanor Johnston
Senior Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
613-947-8981

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874