POLITICS

Harper celebrates half-century of diplomatic relations with Jamaica

10/22/2012 09:09 EDT | Updated 12/22/2012 05:12 EST
TORONTO - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has marked a half-century of relations between Canada and Jamaica.

Harper was joined by his Jamaican counterpart Portia Simpson Miller at a packed hall in Toronto on Monday night to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties with Jamaica since it first gained independence in 1962.

Harper told several hundred people at the Jamaican Canadian Association that Canada is proud of its connection to Jamaica, dating back to when both countries traded together as British colonies.

Simpson Miller says Canadians of Jamaican descent have made big contributions to the country.

She says Jamaica still has a strong link to Canada, as seen in the many people who come here from Jamaica to work under the federal temporary foreign workers program.

Both Harper and Simpson Miller paid respects to Lincoln Alexander, the former Ontario lieutenant-governor of Jamaican background who died last Friday.