Sunday, March 3, 2024

Canada to boost help to region

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Canada is stepping up international assistance to the Caribbean region.Canadian High Commissioner to Barbados Ruth Archibald said a Canadian international assistance team was now resident in Barbados, working with regional partners to develop programmes which would assist in building capacity in the management of public finances and debt in the Caribbean.Addressing guests attending a Canada Day reception at her official Pine Hill, St Michael residence Thursday evening, Archibald said the team would also be involved in “improving the enabling environment for business development and increased trade and economic activities” as well as the “strengthening of national capacity to mitigate the impact of national disasters”.The High Commissioner spoke about the “common values and interests” between Barbados and Canada, “expresssed across a range of issues”.She said Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper had also recognised a shared interest in strengthening public safety and security with the creation of the CAN$15 million (BDS$28 million) per annum Anti-Crime Capacity Building Fund. And she disclosed money from this fund had already been disbursed to support the Regional Security System (RSS)  Air Surveillance Programme in the fight against the illegal narcotics trade in the Eastern Caribbean.In addition, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in partnership with the RSS was embarking on a review of police training capabilities throughout the region, aimed at developing new training modules for use in the Eastern Caribbean.In an aside, Archibald regretted “there simply are not enough Canadians to entirely make up for the reduced number of UK visitors [to Barbados], no matter how cold it gets in a Canadian winter”. But she noted an increasing number of Canadian tourists were “rediscovering” Barbados.

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