Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Minister Cannon

Question to Minister Cannon on March 30, 2009.

Mr. Minister, how many ambassadors, diplomatic representatives or official government representatives do we have around the world? Where are they located and what cost do they represent, including salaries, facility expenses, staff expenses and travel expenses, to the taxpayers of Canada?

I respectfully submit these questions without prejudice. Thank you.

Answer May 13, 2009:

Dear Mr. Birkbeck :

On behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, I would like to thank you for your e-mail of March 30, 2009. I regret the delay in replying. Please find below, the information you requested.

At the end of the last fiscal year for which we have complete reporting material (March 31, 2008), Canada’s network abroad consisted of 7,305 employees located in 168 missions in 109 countries, including 9 missions to multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These 7,305 employees can be broken down into two principal categories: 1,877 Canada-based employees, who are Canadian citizens operating at missions abroad and which includes 137 heads of mission (generally High Commissioners, Ambassadors and Consuls-General), and 5,428 locally-engaged employees, who are people hired in the host country in which Canada maintains a mission presence.

While our 2009 reports are not yet finalized, preliminary figures show that we had a total of 7,537 employees located in 174 missions and 110 countries.

Canada’s diplomatic and consular network represents a myriad of Canadian interests overseas. Of the 7,305 people working internationally for Canada, 2,410 of them are actually employed by other government departments, prominently amongst those being Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). There are over 30 federal, provincial and agency programs working in missions abroad. Diplomacy, consular services and trade relations remain the central business lines of Canada’s international network from this department’s point of view. In addition, this department provides common service support for all the various programs from across government operating out of the mission network.

Our 168 missions, as of March 31 2008, consist of High Commissions (in Commonwealth countries), Embassies, Consulates-General, Consulates, and Offices of the Embassy, which are satellite offices in non-capital cities providing a special and focussed program presence. 38 missions and 19% of our overseas staff are located in Africa and the Middle-East, 32 missions and 30% of our mission staff are situated in the Asia-Pacific, 16 missions in Eastern Europe and 28 missions in Western Europe encompass 25% of our overseas staff, 26 missions and 12% of our personnel abroad are operating in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 28 missions, employing 14% of our staff abroad, are located in North America.

For the exact locations of our network of missions, please consult this link which will provide you more details.

The total cost of our diplomatic and consular presence overseas in fiscal year 2008, which includes, principally, salaries, physical resources and infrastructure, protection services, telecommunications, information technology, relocation and utilities provided to our 168 missions around the world, amounts to $754,961,885. Fluctuations occur from year to year in consideration of currency gains and losses and foreign rates of inflation. They also occur because of the expansion and contraction of our total mission presence worldwide in response to decisions taken by the government to adjust programs offered via the mission network. In fiscal year 2009, the amount increased to $799,671,569 largely due to an increased number of staff abroad (by approximately 232 across all government departments) and the decline in the value of the Canadian dollar versus foreign currencies, which meant that the cost to operate missions increased.

Best regards,

Mark FletcherDirector General/Directeur général

Representation Abroad Secretariat
Secrétariat de la représentation à l'étranger
(613) 944-2905 Fax/télé (613) 944-9021 Email/courriel :