Mexico 'really mad' at Canada over imposed travel visa, says ambassador

OTTAWA – The Mexican ambassador to Canada says his country is “really mad” at the Harper government for the continued imposition of a visa on its travellers here.

Ambassador Francisco Suarez says that Mexico is so mad that if the issue isn’t resolved by next year, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto might have to postpone a planned visit to Canada.

Mexico and Canada are making plans in 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations.

Canada imposed a visa on Mexican travellers in 2009 to curb abuses by a growing number of bogus refugee claimants.

Suarez says Mexico’s relations with Canada are generally good, but the visa issue is an obstacle to deepening economic co-operation in areas such as energy and natural resources.

Earlier this summer, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird could give no time frame for lifting the visa, but Suarez said the time has come to set a road map for resolving the issue.

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