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Canada–Denmark relations

Canada–Denmark relations



Canada–Denmark relations refers to the current and historical relations between Canada and Denmark. Canada has an embassy in Copenhagen. Denmark has an embassy in Ottawa and a consulate-general in Toronto.[1][2] Both countries are full members of NATO[3] and the Arctic Council.[4] Relations between the two countries have attracted attention in light of the dispute over Hans Island.[5]


  • History 1
  • Hans Island 2
  • High level visits 3
  • Expatriates 4
    • Danes in Canada 4.1
  • See also 5
  • References 6


In 1928, the bilateral relations between Canada and Denmark were strengthened, when members of the Canadian National Railways met with Thomas Madsen-Mygdal.[6]

The first treaty between Canada and Denmark was a visa requirements agreement, signed on 22 September and 14 October 1949.[7] Both countries signed an agreement concerning taxes in 1956.[8] Canada and Denmark agreed to cooperate with defence science in 1969.[9] In 1983, an marine environmental, social and economic agreement was signed in Copenhagen.[10]

In 2010, the Denmark–USA/Canada Program was launched. The programme aims the internationalization of Danish education programmes.[11]

Hans Island

Hans Island is a small, uninhabited barren knoll measuring 1.3 km2 (0.5 sq mi), located in the centre of the Kennedy Channel of Nares Strait. The island is claimed by both Canada and Denmark.[12] In 1973 Canada and Denmark ratified a treaty defining the border in the area. The treaty did not define the border at Hans Island as no agreement was made on this. In 1984, Tom Høyem, the Danish Minister for Greenland, raised the Danish flag on the island.[13] On 25 July 2005, Canadian Defence Minister Bill Graham visited the island, the visit sparked anger in Denmark. The Government of Denmark sent a letter of protest to Canada.[13] Canada also sent two warships in 2005 to Hans Island, HMCS Shawinigan and HMCS Glace Bay.[14]

On 19 September 2009, both governments put in place a process to end the dispute.

As friendly countries, of course, it is our shared objective that we resolve this issue – that we put this issue behind us… "We now have a process – a process in which the officials will be working together, gathering all of the relative information and trying to find a way forward to do this…
— Pierre Pettigrew[15]

In January 2011, both countries were close to a resolution over the island.[5] However, the border agreement signed in November 2012 did not contain a solution to the dispute, and as of 2015 no agreement has been made about the island.

High level visits

Crown Princess Margrethe (later Queen of Denmark) and her husband Prince Henrik visited Canada in September 1967.[16] Queen Margrethe also visited Canada in 1991.[17] Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary visited Ottawa and Toronto in 2014.[18]


Danes in Canada

About 200,000 people in Canada are of Danish origin or birth. They mostly live in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

New Denmark is a Canadian rural community in Victoria County, New Brunswick. The community derives its name from several Danish settlers who inhabited the area in 1872, eventually forming the largest and what would become the oldest Danish community in Canada; the Danish influence has diminished somewhat in recent decades due to out-migration.[19]

See also


  1. ^ Government of Canada. "Canadian embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark".  
  2. ^ Government of Denmark. "Danish embassy in Ottawa, Canada".  
  3. ^  
  4. ^  
  5. ^ a b "Canada and Denmark in Hans Island negotiations". Menas Borders. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Farmers meet Danish minister".  
  7. ^  
  8. ^  
  9. ^ Treaty series: Recueil des traités 681–683.  
  10. ^ "Agreement for cooperation relating to the marine environment" (PDF). 1983. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "The Denmark-USA/Canada Program". Styrelsen for international uddannelse. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  12. ^ Peter R. Dawes (1985). "Hans Ø" (PDF) (in Danish). p. 13. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  13. ^ a b  
  14. ^ "Canada and Denmark at the brink of war". The Uncoverer. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Canada, Denmark agree to Hans Island process".  
  16. ^ "Young Danish Royal Couple Recalls Bonds with Canada".  
  17. ^ "Kongehuset debuterer i Mexico".  
  18. ^ "Danish Crown Prince Couple to Visit Canada". Denmark in Canada. Embassy of Denmark, Canada. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "New Denmark, New Brunswick: new approaches in the study of Danish migration to Canada, 1872-1901". Amicus (Library and Archives Canada).  
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