Recently members of the Canadian Parliament announced the formation of a new special interest group – the Canada Nordic-Baltic Parliamentary Friendship Group. Initiated by members of the House of Commons and Senators, such groups are created by parliamentarians who have a special interest in the designated foreign countries – in this instanced the Baltic states and Nordic countries.
This has been the suggestion of the diplomats from the respective embassies who have urged that such an alliance be created. Riho Kruuv, the Estonia chargé d’affaires was active in helping to form the new group.
It is expected that this committee be involved in establishing a relationship with a similar special interest parliamentary group in the designated countries, in exchanging ideas, in fielding the concerns and opinions of Canadians on matters related to their special interest etc. The reciprocal parliamentary group in Estonia – the Estonia-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group is chaired by Estonian parliamentarian Liisa Pakosta.
The Canadian committee is chaired by Bernard Trottier M.P. (Cons.). Other members are
Hélèlene LeBlanc (NDP), Sen. Janice Johnson (Cons.), Se, Vern White (Cons.), Garry Breitkreuz (Cons.), Linda F. Duncan (NDP), James Bezan (Cons.), Randy Kamp (Cons.), Lois Brown (Cons.), Deepak Obhrai (Cons.), Joe Daniel (Cons.), Dave Van Kesteren (Cons.), Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin (Cons.), Ted Opitz (Cons.), David Tilson (Cons.), Sen. Judith Seidman (Cons.), Sen. Reynall Andreychuk (Cons.), Leon Benoit (Cons.), Brian Storseth (Cons.), Gary Schellenberger (Cons.), Sen. David Smith (Lib.), Joyce Murray (Lib.), John McKay (Lib.), Sen. Terry Mercer (Lib.), Brice Hyer (Ind.), Sen. Mac Harb (Lib.). These politicians are focussed on a much larger group of countries than the previous Canada-Baltic States Parliamentary Friendship Group which was active mainly during the Soviet occupation of these countries. Its interest was clearly defined as supporting the struggle for the regaining of independence for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
New parliamentary interest group focussing on the Baltics and Nordic countries (1)