Above: Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Jamaican National Security Minister Peter Bunting
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Canada and Jamaica signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday to establish a Canadian Forces hub in the capital of Kingston.
The hub will include locations at the Kingston Harbour, a nearby airport and the Jamaica Defence Force base in the capital.
The memorandum of understanding on the agreement was signed by Jamaican National Security Minister Peter Bunting and Canadian National Defence Minister Peter MacKay.
“We feel privilege to be host of this support hub, as it is our understanding that this is one of only six across the entire world,” Bunting said. “The relationship is such that it’s not only Canada contributing to us in Jamaica and the JDF, but Jamaica also provides useful support, useful expertise.”
The so-called “Operational Support Hub” will enable the Canadian government to provide “logistical support” to routine operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
MacKay said Canada was ware that a hub was critical in the area, particularly in the event of natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
“I am delighted to see our Conservative government continuing to forge stronger ties with Jamaica as they celebrate 50 years of bilateral relations with Canada,” Canadian Senator Don Meredith said. “The future security of the region is strengthened as a result of this hub. It will ensure that drugs are intercepted before they can reach Jamaica’s shores, affecting the lives of youth, as well as providing much-needed humanitarian aid in times of crisis.”
Meredith previously visited the JDF base in Kingston during an official visit in April.