February 27, 2020 | VIEW ONLINE
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News from the North

Greetings! As we close out February and look ahead to March, we’re excited to see La Francophonie, the annual month-long celebration of Francophone culture, which culminates in Journée internationale de la Francophonie (International Francophonie Day) on March 20 - on the horizon. Keep an eye out for some exciting initiatives from the Embassy to commemorate this special event. For now, read on for some of the highlights on the Canada-U.S. front from the past few weeks:

Importance of Shared Humanity at the International Space Station

This week, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Colonel Jeremy Hansen shared with us the value of mutual respect and working towards astronomical goals in his guest piece “U.S. Space Leadership: A Canadian Perspective.” In part, Col. Hansen reminds us that while geopolitical differences exist, the International Space Station is a constant, ever-present reminder of what we can achieve when we unite under the banner of humanity. In 1958, the United States and Canada began a partnership in space that started with an invitation from the U.S. and the development and launch of Canada’s first satellite, the Alouette 1. Our partnership continues to this day with the development of space robotics (Canadarm & Canadarm2) and will now rocket into its third generation as Canada joins the U.S. in establishing the Lunar Gateway. We also celebrated in January the graduation of two Canadian astronauts from NASA’s basic training program, supervised for the first time by Canadian, Col. Hansen himself. The U.S.-Canada relationship is stronger than ever and according to Col. Hansen, “we are setting an example of what is possible through cooperation.”

Secure and Open Markets for Critical Minerals

Earlier this year, Canada and United States announced a joint action plan to strengthen the security and resilience of critical mineral supply chains between our two countries. These valuable minerals are essential components to many of the electronic devices we rely on every day, like TVs, computer screens, and even cancer therapy treatments. The US has identified 35 minerals as critical to economic and national security interests, and Canada is an important supplier of 13 of these. The announcement of the joint action plan follows Canada’s signing on to the US-led Energy Resource Governance Initiative in December, and was the culmination of a commitment made by Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump during the PM’s visit to Washington in June last year. Read on to learn more about critical minerals and why is the joint action plan important.

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