Canada and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington on April 4, 1949, establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This political and military alliance was formed to promote the stability of the North Atlantic area and to safeguard the freedom of its peoples, based on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.

This political and military alliance was formed to promote the stability of the North Atlantic area and to safeguard the freedom of its peoples, based on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.

The Canadian Armed Forces are among the most engaged, agile, deployable and responsive armed forces within NATO, and Canada is proud to have contributed to every NATO operation since the founding of the Alliance more than six decades ago.

To be an effective political-military Alliance, fit to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century, NATO must pursue cooperation with other partners. In this context, extending regional security through cooperative partnerships continues to be crucial.

The Joint Delegation consists of a political section, a military section and a defence-support section. The Delegation represents Canada at the North Atlantic Council and other decision-making bodies of the Alliance, and reports to the Government of Canada on all NATO-related issues.

Overview of North Atlantic Treaty Organization

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington on April 4, 1949, establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This political and military alliance was formed to promote the stability of the North Atlantic area and to safeguard the freedom of its peoples, based on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. The Alliance is the embodiment of the transatlantic link that binds North American and European security. The Alliance’s latest Strategic Concept sets out three core tasks: collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security.

Canada in NATO

Canada was a founding member of the Alliance and has remained as a member since its inception. NATO is a major contributor to international peace and security and is the cornerstone of Canadian security and defence policy.

Canada’s priority for NATO is to ensure the Alliance remains modern, flexible, agile and able to face current and future threats. This goal drives all of Canada’s efforts on NATO transformation, reform and partnerships with non-NATO countries.

NATO Operations

The Canadian Armed Forces are among the most engaged, agile, deployable and responsive armed forces within NATO, and Canada is proud to have contributed to every NATO operation since the founding of the Alliance more than six decades ago. Canada's participation in NATO operations around the world exemplifies our commitment to the Alliance.

NATO is an active and leading contributor to peace and security on the international stage. It promotes democratic values and is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. However, if diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity needed to undertake crisis-management operations, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organizations.

Currently, NATO is operating in Afghanistan, Kosovo and the Mediterranean.

Partnerships and Enlargement

To be an effective political-military Alliance, fit to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century, NATO must pursue cooperation with other partners. In this context, extending regional security through cooperative partnerships continues to be crucial.

NATO’s partnerships

Visit the NATO website to learn more about NATO partnerships.

Enlargement

Under Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, NATO’s door remains open to any European country in a position to further the principles of the Treaty and to contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. Four countries currently seek to join NATO: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Ukraine.

Canada strongly supports NATO’s “open-door policy” and looks forward to fulfilling the commitments made to aspirant countries, as well as to welcoming new members into the Alliance.

Visit NATO's Enlargement webpage to learn more.

Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO

The Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO, located at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, is headed by Ambassador Kerry Buck, the Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council, NATO's highest decision-making body. Canada's Military Representative, Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, represents Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff on the Military Committee, the Alliance's highest military decision-making body, which reports to the North Atlantic Council.

The Joint Delegation consists of a political section, a military section and a defence-support section. The Delegation represents Canada at the North Atlantic Council and other decision-making bodies of the Alliance, and reports to the Government of Canada on all NATO-related issues. It works to maintain and develop cooperative transatlantic relations and actively contributes to the implementation of Canada’s foreign policy on security and defence matters.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council

Kerry Buck has been appointed as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council (NATO).

Ms. Buck (BA Hons, Political Science, University of Western Ontario; Common Law and Civil Law, LLB, BCL, McGill University) joined Canada’s then Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1991.

She most recently served as Political Director and Assistant Deputy Minister for International Security and Political Affairs from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that, she held Assistant Deputy Minister portfolios for Africa and for Latin America and the Caribbean, and was the head of the Afghanistan Task Force. She has also served in a number of other senior positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, including Director General for the Middle East and Maghreb (2008-2009), for Afghanistan (2006-2008), and for Public Diplomacy and Federal-Provincial Affairs (2006-2007), and Director for Human Rights (2000-2001). She was posted to the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (1994-1996).

Outside of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Ms. Buck served in the Privy Council Office as Director of Operations for Machinery of Government Secretariat responsible for Cabinet and Ministerial mandates (2003-2005), as Director of Policy and International Programs at the Canadian Human Rights Commission (2001-2003), with the International Development Research Centre and with the Constitutional Law Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General of Ontario.

Ms. Buck speaks English and French. She is married to Michael Pearson and has a son and three step-daughters.

Lieutenant-General M. Hainse, CMM, MSC, CD

Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1977 and was commissioned into the Royal 22e Régiment in August 1980.

His operational postings began in 1980 with the 2nd Battalion Royal 22e Régiment in Quebec City. He served on five operational missions abroad and participated in two domestic operations, namely Oka and the 1998 ice storm. He also held diverse command appointments at every rank level. In 1996, he assumed command of the 1st Battalion Royal 22e Régiment in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In April 2002, he served as Commander of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Task Force and on 2 September 2004, he became the 21st commander of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. In 2007, he served in Southern Afghanistan as Deputy Commander Regional Command South (a NATO British led multinational Division). He assumed Command of Land Force Doctrine and Training System in May 2008. From 2013-2016, Lieutenant-General Hainse was the Commander of the Canadian Army.

Lieutenant-General Hainse also filled many staff positions. At National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa, he was a staff officer for the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and aide-de-camp to the Chief of the Defence Staff. In the summer of 2001, he held the position of Chief of Staff of Land Force Quebec Area. He was transferred back to NDHQ as J3 International in the fall of 2002. In July 2006, he was appointed Chief of Staff of Canada Command in Ottawa. In August 2010, he was appointed as Chief of Programme at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. He subsequently spent two years in Italy as the Deputy Commander Allied Joint Force Command Naples. He was involved in training and education on three different occasions: in 1984 at the Infantry School in Gagetown, in 1994 at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, as Director of Cadets, and in 2008 as Commander of Land Force Doctrine and Training System, where he oversaw all aspects of training of the Canadian Land Force. In July 2013 he assumed command of the Canadian Army.

Lieutenant-General Hainse has pursued professional development at the Land Force Command and Staff College in Kingston and at the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto. On completion of Battalion Command in 1999, he undertook a master’s program at the École nationale d’administration publique (ÉNAP) in Quebec City. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and an advanced graduate diploma (DESS) in International Management Studies.

In July 2016, Lieutenant-General Hainse was appointed to serve as Military Representative of Canada to NATO Military Committee in Brussels.

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