Bilateral Initiatives Announced by Canada and Mexico During President Calderon's Visit (May 27-28)

Ottawa, Ontario
27 May 2010

Updated Air Transport Agreement:  Amendments to the existing bilateral Air Transport Agreement (created in 1961 and amended in 1999 and 2007) will provide airlines from both countries with greater market access for passenger, combination and all-cargo services and greater pricing flexibility to respond to market conditions in a competitive manner.  It is anticipated that this will result in more people and cargo travelling between the two countries, enhancing business and people to people ties. Mexico is Canada’s third largest international air travel market after the US and European Union.  Five Canadian airlines and one Mexican airline offer direct, own-craft air services between the two countries.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Youth Mobility:  This MOU will simplify and facilitate the administrative procedures for qualified Canadian and Mexican youth, aged 18 to 29*, to travel and work in each other’s country for up to one year.  The MOU, which is expected to come into effect towards the end of this summer, will further promote the personal and professional development of young citizens from both countries.  Canada and Mexico will shortly determine the maximum number of participants that qualify annually under the MOU. (*Age limit remains to be finalized in negotiations with Mexico)

Canada Mexico Joint Action Plan: This update of the 2007 Action Plan affirms that both countries will be focussing on the four following bilateral priorities in the coming years: fostering competitive and sustainable economies, protecting our citizens, enhancing people-to-people Contacts and projecting our partnership globally and regionally.

Anti-Crime Capacity Building Projects: Through the following projects Canada will contribute to Mexico’s robust and ongoing efforts to combat corruption and to reform its legal system:

Education and Training for Judges: Through Justice Canada, the Government of Canada will provide approximately $1.6 million (2010-2011) towards increasing the ability of Mexican judges to manage the new adversarial system in the courts. Anticipated activities include the provision of training, workshops and seminars; development of courses and training tools; and the sharing of best-practices, techniques and methodologies, including a 10-day study mission to Canada for six Mexican judges.

National/State Licensing and Education System for Lawyers: Through Justice Canada, the Government of Canada will provide approximately $1.2 million (2010-2011) towards assisting in the creation of a Mexican system of legal licensing, and the establishment of professional standards in this area. Anticipated activities include training, workshops and seminars; the establishment of a mechanism for the management of the adversarial-type criminal system; and the creation of a licensing system and code of ethics.

Harmonization of Criminal Legislation and Strengthening of Prosecution Service: Through Justice Canada, the Government of Canada will provide approximately $ 1.1 million (2010-2011) towards assisting Mexico in reviewing its penal code with a view to establishing a more homogenous classification of offences and sanctions.

In addition to the projects announced today, Canada has also provided RCMP personnel and funding to help train Mexican Federal police under the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program.  Specifically, eight Spanish speaking RCMP instructors were dispatched to Mexico last summer to provide training in forensic interview techniques for Mexican Federal Police recruits.  In addition, 42 Mexican commanding officers, and over 250 mid-level Mexican officers travelled to Canada for three weeks last fall to receive training in police management, decision making, investigation and intelligence skills at the Canadian Police College.  These initiatives were announced by Prime Minister Harper in Guadalajara, Mexico, on August 9, 2009.