On June 9th, the Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism, took a decisive step toward strengthening the Canada-Poland relationship.

Minister Kenney had a productive meeting with Mr. Tomasz Siemoniak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Poland, where they jointly signed a Declaration of Intent between the Department of National Defence of Canada and the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland. The Declaration will lead to increased Canadian-Polish defence co-operation in order to promote security and contribute to international peace.

To this end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada and Poland will establish strategic defence dialogues to explore ways to further collaborate in a range of fields, including bilateral and multilateral training, international personnel placement and exchanges, military education, defence capacity building in other countries, and information sharing. Canada will also be contributing personnel to the NATO Multi-national Corps – North East Headquarters located in Szczecin, Poland.

Minister Siemoniak thanked Canada for the work of the Canadian military in Poland. The Canadian Armed Forces have conducted dozens of training activities with their Polish counterparts over the last decade. This official trip to Poland and the signing of the Declaration of Intent have strengthened the Canadian-Polish relationship, and our joint resolve to bringing stability to Eastern Europe and Ukraine.

Later that day, a Polish military honour guard greeted Minister Kenney at the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where he laid a wreath on behalf of Canadians. He was joined by Her Excellency Alexandra Bugailiskis, Canada’s Ambassador to the Republic of Poland, and his Caucus colleagues, Members of Parliament James Bezan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Wladyslaw Lizon, and Ted Opitz.