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Cheers to 50 Years: Canada Marks a Milestone in the Upper Midwest

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July 22, 2020

Half-century anniversaries are always major milestones, and the Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis, Minnesota is proudly celebrating its 50th year in the Upper Midwest in 2020.

The year marks a historic high point for Canada’s official diplomatic presence in Minnesota. In 1970, Canada opened the doors to its Minneapolis office, and what is now a five-state territory it covers: Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In many ways, Canada’s proximity to the Upper Midwest – as neighbours who share a border and similar climate with Minnesota and North Dakota – brrrrr, how we all identify with winter – make this U.S. region feel as close to Canada as any other area of the country. We’re at home together on either side of the border. We share parks and lakes and waterways. We cooperate on everything from building new infrastructure to trade ties to border security to energy and the environment. We’re deeply connected by our people and our businesses.

That’s why, on this Canada Day, July 1, 2020, our U.S. friends across the Upper Midwest all came to the virtual party, to celebrate the Consulate’s 50th and Canada’s 153rd birthday.

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused Canadians and Americans to mark our national days differently this year, Consul General Ariel Delouya reminded us that “what hasn’t changed is the importance of the special and deep friendship between Canadians and Americans.”  His is a sentiment shared by the Governors from all five states, who, in their own personalized video messages to Canada, acknowledged our close ties, shared interests, and, as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds put it, the fact that “we truly are better together”. Governor Reynolds was joined in wishing a Happy Canada Day by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

July 1, 2020 was a landmark day in another sense: the entry into force of the U.S-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement. All three countries are now superbly positioned to build on our past achievements as a North American economic powerhouse that is globally competitive. With our existing strong trade and investment ties, Canada and the five states of the Upper Midwest are now poised for even greater shared economic successes in the future.

And though we’re never the type to rest on our laurels, individual state relationships with Canada have long showcased that we are truly better together. So we think it’s especially fitting in this anniversary year to highlight some amazing facts:


In Iowa, Wiese Industries is one of America’s largest farm tillage tool manufacturers, with products used by farmers across North America. Owned by Saskatchewan-based Ralph McKay Industries, Wiese and its sister company, MD Products & Services in Mason City, represent a total of over $20 million worth of investments in Iowa. Honorary Consul Mary Lawyer, a native Iowan, believes that “the Canada-Iowa relationship is based on shared core values and culture that have laid the groundwork for not only robust and mutually beneficial trade but also cherished friendships”.



In central Minnesota, two Canadian companies, Vancouver-based Ostara and Ontario-based Lystek, have enabled the City of St. Cloud to convert its waste streams into valuable fertilizer for farmers. The Nutrient Recovery and Reuse project helps prevent overloading of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus into the Mississippi River and other local waterways, recovers valuable materials from the waste stream, reduces energy use and returns clean water to the environment.



Union Pacific Railway, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, provides a means for American businesses to compete on a global scale. The railway employs 43,000 people, crosses 23 states, and connects all major West and Gulf Coast ports to Canada and other international markets. Close to 40% of shipments include Canadian and other international products, including Canadian lumber used across the United States in the home-building industry.



Canada and the United States are joined in many places along the border, including at the International Peace Garden that straddles Manitoba and North Dakota – a unique enclave established in 1932 to symbolize the peaceful relationship between the two countries. North Dakota officially adopted the slogan “The Peace Garden State” in 1956. Canada’s Honorary Consul in North Dakota, Rod Backman, calls it a “privilege and pleasure to be part of such a positive and friendly relationship.”



South Dakota’s Army National Guard hosts Operation GOLDEN COYOTE, an annual training exercise in support of overseas operations and continental homeland defense. The exercise includes dozens of Canadian soldiers. Defence and security relations between Canada and the U.S., the closest of friends, partners, and allies, are longstanding, well-entrenched and highly successful.


We thank our Upper Midwest friends, partners, and allies for these long-standing and mutually beneficial connections. Canada stands with you as we meet the challenges and opportunities of 2020 and beyond.

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