History of Diplomatic Relations

12.07.2016. 09:56

Canada’s history of support for Latvia

Canada has always been quick to offer support for the aspirations and needs of Latvia’s people.

Canada recognised the Republic of Latvia on 26 January 1921.  

In 1940, Canada joined the list of countries which never agreed to recognise or concede that Latvia had been incorporated into the Soviet Union.

When the opportunity presented itself on the 26th of August 1991, Canada became the first G-7 member state to resume diplomatic relations with Latvia, and it was one of the first countries to ratify Latvia’s membership in NATO.

In short, it could be said that Canada has been, on a number of occasions, one the first countries to listen to the concerns of the people of Latvia, and to respond at the critical moment.

An office of the Canadian Embassy opened by the end of 1991, and, on 3 June 1993, the Embassy of Canada in Riga was opened. Canadian Ambassadors have been resident in Riga since 14 September 1999.

Diplomatic and consular missions

In November 1994, the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia was opened in Ottawa, the first embassy from the Baltic States in Canada. Prior to this (from October 1991), a Consulate of the Republic of Latvia had been operating in Toronto, but since 1992 - in Ottawa, headed by Honorary Consul-General Mr Guntis Siliņš. The Consulate discontinued its work after the opening of the Embassy.

Latvian Ambassadors to Canada

Mārtiņš Lācis**  

1994–1996

Georgs Andrejevs

1996–1998

Jānis Lūsis

1998–2002

Atis Sjanīts

2003–2007

Marģers Krams

2007–2011

Juris Audariņš

September 2011– present

   

Canadian Ambassadors to Latvia

Michael Phillips*

1991–1995

William Clarke*

1995–1999

Peter McKellar

1999–2002

Robert Andrigo

2002–2005

Claire A. Poulin

2005–2008

Scott Heatherington

2008–2011

John Morrison

2012–2014

Alain Hausser

February 2015 – present

* residing in Stockholm, Sweden

** Chargé d’Affaires   a.i.

Honorary Consuls of Latvia to Canada

When in November 1994, the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia was opened in Ottawa, it became the first embassy from the Baltic States in Canada. As of October 1991, a Consulate of the Republic of Latvia had been operating in Toronto, but then it was moved to Ottawa, and headed by Honorary Consul-General, Mr Guntis Siliņš. The Consulate discontinued its work after the opening of the Embassy.

There are five Latvian Honorary Consulates operating in Canada:

  • Imants Rudolfs Purvs serves as Honorary Consul of Latvia in Toronto, the province of Ontario (from 19 June 2003, while Mārcis Ešmits held the post from 2001 to 2003);
  • Roberts Klaiše – in Montreal, Quebec (from 2 September 2004);
  • Dr. Ingrīda Selga Šķetris – in Halifax, Nova Scotia (from 17 November 2012);
  • Ēriks Savičs – in Vancouver, British Columbia (from 5 September 2013) and
  • Ena Agnes Rudovics –in Edmonton, Alberta (from March 2014).

Co-operation in international organisations

At the 12th Summit of the Francophone Countries in Quebec, Canada, on 17-19 October 2008, Latvia was officially granted an observer status in the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF). Latvia was represented at the event by Ambassador Rolands Lappuķe. Canada has been an IOF member since 1970.