Bilateral cooperation Embassy Consular information
17 February 2017
The beginning of mutual diplomatic cooperation originated at the time of war, when Poles and Canadians were brothers in arms, fighting for freedom. It’s not a surprise that these difficult times required exceptional military men to take on diplomatic roles as well – said Mr. Łukasz Weremiuk, chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Poland in Ottawa.
Polish side was represented by former uhlan Wiktor Podoski, soldier in a Polish – Soviet war in 1920. In 1939 he became Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Ottawa as well as in 1942 the head of Polish diplomatic mission also in Ottawa.
Canada was represented by Major-General the Right Honourable Georges Vanier, World War I veteran, the first Canadian Envoy to the government of Poland in London in 1942. He inspired changes in Canadian immigration law, which enabled thousands of Poles to resettle in Canada after the end of the war. His son, Jean Vanier is an outstanding and well-known figure in Poland due to founding L’Arche communities, which changed the way societies nowadays perceive mentally handicapped people – as Mr. Weremiuk emphasized.
The meeting was also attended by Ms. Alex Bugailiskis, former Canadian Ambassador to Poland and current Deputy Minister for Europe, Near East and Maghreb; LGen Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Peter Fonseca, member of Parliament and head of Canada – Poland Parliamentary Friendship Group; Mr. Roy Norton, Chief of the Office of Protocol of Global Affairs Canada.
During the meeting guests were able to see “The Odyssey of Wawel’s Treasures” exhibition about the treasures of the Wawel Royal Castle, which were safely deposited in Canada during World War II.