How Foreign Policy Impacts Canada-Mexico Relations

By: Jaclyn Hiebert

On October 19, the Can-Mex Youth Lab had the opportunity to hear from two incredible guest speakers, Cristina Planter and Sacha Levasseur.

Cristina Planter is the Coordinator for North American Political Affairs at the Secretary of Foreign Relations in Mexico. Previously, she worked as the Director, Canada and Trilateral Affairs for the Mexican Foreign Ministry.

In preparation for the upcoming Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP) virtual meeting on November 24, Cristina was able to provide the delegates with more insight into the Foreign Policy working group. Some of the key takeaways from her presentation included:

Highlighting the importance of bilateral collaboration on indigenous affairs

Sharing how trade and supply chains continues to grow and evolve between our two countries, especially since the creation of CUSMA

Underscoring how increased infrastructure, administrative coordination, and knowledge sharing are critical for our respective tourism industries

Her presentation was followed by a discussion with Sacha. Sacha Levasseur is the Director of the Mexico Division and Trilateral Affairs at Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. Previously he worked as an Advisor for Public Affairs, Culture, and Education at the Canadian Embassy Mexico as well as the Deputy Director, Southern and Eastern Africa Division at Global Affairs Canada.

Sacha spoke about the importance of building and maintaining trilateral relations. This is currently being accomplished by the CMP’s 9 working groups, where important work is being done in a variety of areas such as:

The creation of feminist foreign policies, which focus on topics such as inclusion and women empowerment

Digital cooperation to improve safety and security online and through digital devices

● Understanding what it means to have a shared North American identity, and how this can help towards translating job skills and qualifications across borders

As the Can-Mex Youth Lab delegates work diligently towards completing their recommendations to present to the CMP, all will remember Sacha’s words on making a difference within your “zone of influence.”

“The more you are in your zone of influence, the more that zone grows bigger.” - Sacha Levasseur

Be sure to watch the Can-Mex Youth Lab’s website for further updates, and click here to read the CMP’s 2020 Annual Report.