Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper toured Latin America last month, stopping in Brazil, Colombia and Honduras. In an email interview, James Rochlin, a professor of political science at the University of British Colombia, discussed Canada-Latin America relations.
WPR: What is the recent history of Canada's diplomatic relations with Latin America (excluding Mexico)?
James Rochlin: Canada began to look seriously at Latin America during the 1970s with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's "Third Option" policy, an attempt to diversify trade away from the United States when the United States first appeared to be facing a relative global decline. Canada joined the Organization of American States as a full member in 1990 and hosted the Summit of the Americas in 2001, where it promoted the Inter-American Democratic Charter.