August 1, 2023 – Canada and the Philippines established diplomatic relations in 1949, and will mark an important milestone in 2024.
The two countries are observing 75 years of friendship next year, and Canada’s ambassador to the Philippines, David Hartman, wants to elevate bilateral ties between the two nations.
In an essay and related media interview, Hartman used the word “ambition” to describe his vision.
“With so much possibilities before us, the cause for ambition is clear,” the Canadian diplomat wrote in a piece published by Manila-based paper BusinessMirror on Julu 13.
“The momentum in the Canada-Philippines relationship is considerable, driven by our multiplicity of shared interests and our common readiness to cooperate to tackle shared challenges.
“The tone and trajectory we have set are auspicious as we look toward 2024, when Canada and the Philippines will celebrate 75 years of official diplomatic ties—a noteworthy milestone in a long-standing, mutually beneficial and storied relationship,” Hartman stated in his essay.
The Canadian ambassador again used the word “ambition” in an interview with CNN Philippines.
“Time for ambition means let us be assertive and let's take advantage of opportunities and don't let it pass by,” Hartman said in the report.
The envoy explained to CNN Philippines that the two countries can advance their interests in "agriculture, arts, science, commerce, environment, and business opportunities".
Hartman, who holds a post-graduate degree in history from the University of Ottawa, joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1998.
Hartman was appointed as Canada’s top representative to the Philippines in November 2022.
When the Canadian embassy unveiled its new website, Hartman wrote that the Philippines is a “priority partner for Canada”.
“Our countries share clearly articulated commitments to a rules-based international order, international security, the multilateral system, democracy and human rights, free trade, and inclusive poverty reduction,” Hartman noted.
Online, the Canadian government notes an ever-increasing people-to-people link between the two countries.
“According to the 2021 census, over 960,000 people of Philippine origin live in Canada, while a growing number of Filipino citizens visit family and friends in Canada, study at Canadian colleges and universities or immigrate to Canada. A significant number of Canadians visit the Philippines each year for tourism, work, and family visits,” the government notes.
Canada’s embassy in the Philippines is located in the city of Makati in Metro Manila. There is also a Canadian consulate in Cebu City.
The Philippines has an embassy in Ottawa and three consulates-general in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. It has honourary consular offices in Edmonton, Winnipeg, St. John's, Charlottetown and Halifax.
In his essay at BusinessMirror, Hartman recalled that Canada in November 2022 launched its Indo-Pacific Strategy, a 10-year plan for enhanced engagement and presence in the region.
“The Philippines, sitting at the heart of the Indo-Pacific, is central to Canada’s strategy. Our countries share many interests and objectives: maintaining a rules-based international order, upholding and protecting democracy, free trade and inclusive economic growth, combating climate change and protecting biodiversity, safeguarding fundamental human rights; improving food and energy security, and building a more sustainable future,” Hartman wrote.