On September 27, 2012, Ambassador John Morrison hosted a ceremony in which a commemorative plaque was placed below a Silver Maple Tree in Tallinn’s Kadriorg Park. The tree was planted 6 years earlier by former Canadian Ambassador, Claire A. Poulin, and Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Urmas Paet, to mark the 15th anniversary of relations between the two countries. In his speech, Ambassador Morrison spoke on the symbolic role of the maple tree in Canadian history and on the close ties between Canada and Estonia:
“Today Canada and Estonia are strong international partners. We work together in NATO and at the UN. As a member of the EU, Estonia is strongly supportive of the negotiations leading to a Canada-EU free trade and investment agreement. Our countries share similar diplomatic and political views. But we are also very connected culturally: many families have ties to Canada where there is a very active Estonian diaspora.”
The ceremony was attended by foreign diplomats, government representatives, embassy partners, and Canadian community members. The reception also marked the retirement of Mrs. Marina Asari Tuul of the Canadian Embassy after her more than 20 years of successful service to Canada. Mrs. Tuul’s achievements were recognized by Ambassador Morrison and Mr. Mart Laanemäe, Undersecretary for Europe and Transatlantic Relations from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who remarked on her dedicated and loyal service. Mrs. Kairi-Liis Ustav will assume duties as Program Officer following Mrs. Tuul’s retirement.
Canada was among the strongest supporters and first countries to recognize Estonia’s regained independence. In 1991, Canada re-established diplomatic relations with the three Baltic countries. The government of Canada did not recognize their annexation by the Soviet Union. Canada holds the second largest Estonian population in the world which has helped strengthen the bilateral relationship.
Ambassador Morrison Installs Plaque in Tallinn Honoring Diplomatic Relations between Canada and Estonia