Photostory #420A: Government Heads Gather in Ottawa: Modern West Indies -- 1966
National Film Board of Canada
July 2, 1966
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
As mankind's global evolution inexorably proceeds with increasing speed and urgency towards a future beyond even modern-day conjecture, long-range plans for cooperation and partnership between nations are of more importance than all oratory recorded over centuries past. This summer, Canada, now 99 years old as a free-governing nation, is host at a special meeting of the representatives of a group of new-born and soon-to-be-born states which geographically stretch across a vast area of the world's most beautiful scenery. Jamaica, the Bahamas, St. Kitts, Antigua, Montserrat, Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and British Honduras - all these islands and territories of the magical Caribbean area will be represented at the Canada-West Indies conference, Ottawa, July 6-8. Subjects planned for discussion during the conference - first meeting of its kind - include international trade, development aid, transportation, communications, migration and cultural relations. Considered by Canada to be but the first of a series, the talks are aimed at creating a close relationship that will keep in step with the constantly changing world scene. Today, after 150 years of regular trade between Canada and the West Indies, the picture is vibrant with the possibilities of the future. Canada itself, independent for almost 100 years, is now the envy of the world with its amazing riches and glorious land. Two thousand miles south, the Commonwealth West Indies, with Jamaica, Trinidad-Tobago and Guyana now independent, Barbados soon to be so, and several other islands negotiating with Britain for self-government, are also showing evidence of technological-industrial progress. Business complexes, oil refineries, bustling ports, massive hotels, power plants, factories, communications, towering buildings and university campuses - these mark a regional surge of activity that added to existing primary industries of large extent and an ever-expanding tourist industry makes the mid-nineteen-sixties West Indies an economic entity to be reckoned with around the world. In future, as Canada and the vital lands of southern sunshine and warm peoples gather closer together to arrange mutual economic benefits and weld firmer their friendships, there may well emerge an even more active association of forward-looking, modern, industrial states - sprung from a common fount of freedom, evolved along similar paths to nationhood, bound for equally-vigorous appointments with destiny.