Forty-five delegates from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which provides an essential link between NATO and the parliaments of NATO nations, visited Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt on Friday, May 2nd to discuss security developments in the Asia-Pacific region and their significance for Canada.
The delegation was led by President Hugh Bailey from the United Kingdom and Sub-Committee Chair Neemo Knip from the Netherlands. It was hosted by Cheryl Gallant, Conservative MP for Renfrew- Nipissing – Pembroke, Chair of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association.
The delegations’ visit to CFB Esquimalt began with presentations and discussions in the morning. Dr. Jim Boutilier, Special Advisor for International Engagement, led a discussion on the growing importance of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and the impact of strong navies in Japan, China and India on international foreign policy.
“The delegation members were suitably struck by the brittle maritime environment in East Asia waters,” Dr. Boutilier noted. “One of the challenges currently facing NATO is how to enhance ties and develop a stronger presence in Asia,” he added.
Following the mornings’ discussions, the delegates boarded two ORCA Patrol Craft Training (PCT) vessels of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), where the vessels’ capabilities were showcased during a tour of Esquimalt Harbour. Rear Admiral Bill Truelove, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific, hosted a group of delegates on ORCA PCT RAVEN, while the other group was led by Captain (N) Cassivi, Base Commander CFB Esquimalt, in ORCA PCT RENARD.
Press Release, May 16, 2014; Image: Canadian Navy