Montreal, 18 August 2022 (TDI): The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Melanie Joy, held bilateral talks with the Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic, Roberto Alvarez.

During their telephonic conversation, the two foreign ministers discussed strengthening ties between the nations.

Remarks by Canada’s Foreign Minister:

During the conversation, the Foreign Minister of Canada, Melanie Joy, highlighted the issue of detained Canadians. She said that Canada was treating the problem as its top priority and was trying to find a solution as soon as possible.

Moreover, she also emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation between both nations in democracy, climate change, and gender equality.

She said that both states lie in the continent of America, and as part of the Americas, they should work together with a stronger bond.

Subsequently, she also expressed her pleasure on behalf of Canada in helping the trapped miners. The miners were rescued with Canada’s help on 9 August after 10 days of being trapped in the mine.

The issue of detained Canadians:

The issue of detained Canadians in the Dominican Republic started on April 5. A crew of Pivot Airlines prepared to fly a 50-seat Pivot jet from Punta Cana toward Toronto. However, before taking off, one of the maintenance engineers onboard reported the presence of a suspicious bag on the plane.

Consequently, they informed the authorities, and on inspection, the Dominican drug control officials reported finding more than 200 kilograms of cocaine onboard. Resultantly, the Dominican authorities jailed five Canadian crew members, including two pilots, two flight attendants, and a maintenance engineer.

The crew members were bailed under house arrest after spending 9 days in jail. They have now passed more than 120 days in the Dominican Republic under detention.

Pilot Robert Di Venanzo, one of the detainees, shared his feelings in an interview with CTV News Toronto. He expressed not feeling good about being forced to live in the country. Moreover, he explained that they live in continuous fear of prosecution and had no idea when they would be freed.

Therefore, he called for the Canadian government to help them as soon as possible. The CEO of Pivot Airlines, Eric Edmondson, also called out the Canadian government to get the crew members out of the Republic.

Canada’s aid in helping the trapped miners:

Two miners, Gregores Mendez and Carlos Yepez, got trapped in the Cerro de Maimon mine on July 31 due to land sliding. Cerro de Maimón produces copper and zinc and is owned by the Dominican Mining Corporation (Cormidom), a Dominican company controlled by foreign shareholders.

Since each worker wears a tracking device, mine personnel and local authorities could locate the trapped men.

They were also able to drill a section and introduce a pipe to provide the miners with food, water, and medication. It also helped them communicate with them.

However, due to a lack of expertise in underground mining, President Luis Abinader reached out for help from Canada. Consequently, Canada sent over a mining excavation system made of machines, tools, and rescue technologies.

The Royal Canadian Air Force and a Quebec drilling company teamed up to help rescue the two miners in this regard. Resultantly, the two miners got rescued on 9 August.

Canada and Dominican Republic Relations:

Diplomatic relations between Canada and the Dominican Republic started in 1954.

Canada is now a major partner of the Dominican Republic, both politically and economically.

Both countries share the same values and principles of democracy, human rights, and free-market policies.

The Dominican Republic is Canadians’ second most popular destination in the Caribbean. Two-way merchandise trade between both nations was $528.7 million in 2021.

Additionally, both states enjoy partnerships in numerous trade, education, and tourism fields.