Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves right now for Europe, the place he’ll take part in high-stakes talks with different world leaders about urgent points like local weather change and the race to vaccinate individuals in low- and middle-income nations.
Whereas a lot of the practically week-long journey will likely be dominated by the G20 assembly in Rome and the following twenty sixth “convention of the events” (COP26) local weather summit in Glasgow, Trudeau has carved out time for an official go to to the Netherlands, a rustic with shut historic and diplomatic ties to Canada.
A authorities official, talking on background to reporters at a briefing forward of the journey, mentioned Trudeau was invited by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to “actually deepen the ties between our two nations, that are already very deep.” Rutte made a visit to Canada in 2018 and Trudeau is “returning the invitation,” the official mentioned.
The 2 nations are intently aligned on international coverage issues, the official mentioned, pointing to ongoing cooperation on the local weather file as the 2 nations push different developed nations to do extra to assist flip again rising world temperatures.
In an interview with CBC Information, Ontario Unbiased Sen. Peter Boehm, a former G7 sherpa, mentioned Rutte and Trudeau can use the diplomatic face time to debate how finest to strategy the Rome summit.
The G20 nations alone symbolize 80 per cent of the worldwide financial system and the majority of annual greenhouse fuel emissions. That makes the Rome summit — coming simply earlier than COP26, the place the place of G20 nations will likely be vital — particularly essential.
A gathering of the G20 atmosphere ministers arrived at an deadlock earlier this yr when it failed to succeed in an settlement on priorities like phasing out coal and limiting world warming to 1.5 C. A number of nations, together with China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia, balked at among the proposed language.
Canada and the Netherlands may assist dealer a practical answer by way of inventive “wordsmithing,” Boehm mentioned.
“It is a pleasant, simple relationship and I’d say, for the reason that prime minister is on that facet of the Atlantic anyway, renewing that friendship is solely applicable by way of the way in which this stuff go,” Boehm mentioned, noting that Trudeau and Rutte — who leads the centrist Individuals’s Occasion for Freedom and Democracy — are ideologically aligned.
“They will focus on bilateral points, world issues and they’re going to examine notes on COP going into Glasgow.”
Throughout a cease within the Hague, the diplomatic capital of the Netherlands, Trudeau is predicted to ship an handle to parliamentarians on the Binnenhof. He is then scheduled to journey with Princess Margriet — a member of the Dutch royal household who was born in Ottawa whereas in exile through the Second World Warfare — to put a wreath on the Bergen op Zoom Canadian battle cemetery within the nation’s south.
7,500 Canadian troopers died throughout liberation of the Netherlands
The Canadian-Dutch relationship is undeniably outlined by the 2 nations’ shared expertise throughout that bloody battle. Greater than 7,500 Canadian women and men died whereas liberating the Netherlands from Nazi rule in late 1944 and early 1945, earlier than Germany’s give up.
“We’re endlessly grateful to these courageous Canadian troopers who carried the sunshine of freedom to our nation in its darkest hour,” Rutte mentioned throughout his 2018 handle to the Canadian Parliament. “This, we are going to always remember.”
Geoffrey Hayes is a professor of historical past on the College of Waterloo and an professional on the First Canadian Military’s liberation of the Netherlands. A frequent customer to the nation, Hayes mentioned he is all the time struck by the respect Dutch civilians present to the previous Canadian troopers who helped free that nation after a brutal eight-month-long navy marketing campaign.
“I keep in mind, within the Nineties, on the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation, Canadians had been invited over and it was simply overwhelming to see the Dutch villagers who had been swarming these outdated Canadian veterans. They had been like rock stars. It actually was one thing. The reception was fairly extraordinary,” Hayes instructed CBC Information.
“They recognize the Canadian involvement in a manner that the majority Canadians simply do not perceive. Plenty of guys acquired killed in eight to 10 months of the battle and it is one thing that the Dutch acknowledge in regards to the Canadian place.”
Whereas serving to the Dutch safe their freedom, the Canadian victories additionally helped to shore up essential provide strains to Allied armies as they continued their push towards Germany.
“We frequently recommend that the battle was over by early ’45 but it surely actually wasn’t within the cities and villages of the Netherlands that had been liberated by the Canadians,” Hayes mentioned. “It is one of many missed parts of the battle. We weren’t charging in direction of Berlin and weren’t dashing to occupy Germany.”
After the battle, Canadian engineers helped to exchange blown-out dikes, desalinate contaminated soil and “get individuals again on their toes after the preventing,” Hayes mentioned. Canadian civil affairs officers additionally helped native officers restore democratic establishments like city councils that had been marginalized below German rule.
The three Canadian battle cemeteries within the Netherlands — together with the one in Bergen op Zoom that Trudeau will go to Friday — are immaculately maintained by each the Commonwealth Warfare Graves Fee and the Dutch villagers who stay close by.
“It is a custom in lots of households there to are inclined to particular graves,” Hayes mentioned.
Dutch royal born in Ottawa
Princess Juliana — who later reigned as Queen of the Netherlands from 1948 to 1980 — went together with her household into exile in Canada through the Nazi occupation of their nation, staying on the Stornoway residence in Ottawa. (Stornoway, a fantastic however modest mansion within the Rockcliffe Park neighbourhood, is now the official residence of the chief of the Official Opposition.)
Juliana gave delivery to Margriet on the Ottawa Civic Hospital in 1943 and Canada quickly ceded its declare to that territory to make sure the younger princess was born a Dutch nationwide. The diplomatic gesture ensured Margriet wouldn’t be stored out of the road of succession to the throne.
“The Dutch royal household is actually fairly unpretentious. They had been a part of the scene in Ottawa, they had been seen freely strolling round with their kids — that was clearly appreciated,” Hayes mentioned, noting that the Netherlands nonetheless sends Ottawa roughly 10,000 tulip bulbs annually to repay the kindness proven by Canadians at a time of disaster.
“These sorts of hyperlinks are within the far distant previous however they’re essential. There are actually robust hyperlinks now between Canada and the Dutch due to all this.”