Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Visa lift coming for Mexican visitors

Published:Wednesday | June 29, 2016 | 6:00 AM
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right) meets with Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, yesterday.

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP):

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday that Canada will lift visa requirements for Mexican visitors as of December 2016, while Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has agreed to open its markets to Canadian beef.

The leaders made the announcement in Ottawa ahead of today's Three Amigos summit with United States President Barack Obama.

"We share values, goals and ambitions," Trudeau said, noting that Canada and Mexico were setting out to "take action in ways that will make a real difference in people's lives."

Canada's previous Conservative government imposed the visa requirement in 2009, claiming it was needed to stop thousands of asylum claims being made by Mexican citizens. The requirement caught the Mexican government off guard, and has stood as a major irritant between the two countries.

The Liberal Party promised during last year's election campaign that the visa requirement would be lifted, but the process has been fraught with delays.

Trudeau also said the two countries have agreed to work more closely together on aboriginal issues.

Pena Nieto is scheduled to attend a youth event at the Canadian Museum of Nature before a state dinner hosted at Rideau Hall.

Trudeau hosted a banquet for the Mexican president on Monday in Toronto, where the prime minister said discussions between the two leaders would touch on the flow of people and goods between their countries.

 

Wide commitment

 

A White House adviser said Monday that today's summit will focus on a North American-wide commitment to cut methane emissions and release what the adviser said will be a comprehensive North American climate, clean energy and environment partnership.

A Three Amigos summit was scheduled to be held last year but was cancelled amid the Canada-US dispute over the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the dispute over the visa requirement.