History of Diplomatic Relations

Canada recognized the independence of the Republic of Estonia for the first time in 1922 and never recognized the annexation of Estonia to the Soviet Union. On August 26, 1991 Canada recognized the independence of Estonia. Following World War II, Canada received and became home to thousands of Estonian refugees. Currently the second-largest community of Estonians outside of Estonia is in Canada and this gives an added dimension to relations between the two countries.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to Canada is Toomas Lukk, who presented her credentials to Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette on September 5, 2018. Estonian Ambassador to Canada to resides in Ottawa. As of November 2018, the Canadian ambassador to Estonia is Kevin Rex, who resides in Riga and is accredited to all three Baltic states.

Canadian ambassadors to Estonia:

  • Alain Hausser (2015-2018)
  • John Morrison (2012-2014)
  • Scott Heatherington (2009-2012)
  • Claire A. Poulin (2006-2008)
  • Robert Andrigo (2002-2005)
  • Peter P.L. McKellar (1999-2002)
  • William L. Clarke (1995-1999)
  • Michael Burke Phillips (1993-1995)
  • Mary Vandenhoff (1991-1992)

Estonian ambassadors to Canada:

  • Gita Kalmet (2013-2018)
  • Marina Kaljurand (2011-2013)
  • Väino Reinart (2008-2011)
  • Jüri Luik (2003-2008)
  • Sven Jürgenson (2000-2003)
  • G.K. Stoicescu (1997-2000)
  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves (1994-1997)

Canada’s aid in boosting Estonia’s development co-operation capabilities is also noteworthy. Programmes of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) have made it possible to carry out many development aid projects that were important to Estonia, for example for strengthening the parliament and institutions of Georgia as well as a joint Estonia-Canada project geared towards the development of a democratic society, to name a few. By uniting opportunities and sharing responsibility, Estonia has been capable of resolving problems brought up by partner countries. One good example is the Canada-Ukraine-Baltic Economic Management Training Programme (CUBEMTP) for Ukrainian officials, which was carried out in co-operation with Canada, Latvia and Lithuania.

The Canadian side has expressed interest in continuing development aid co-operation with Estonia in the Eastern Partnership countries. Currently potential projects are in the planning phase.