Hans Island accord: Making history at 50 Sussex

The location for the signing — the Ottawa headquarters of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society — was perfect for the purpose

  • Jun 15, 2022
  • 552 words
  • 3 minutes
Canadian foreign minister Mélanie Joly and Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod meet in the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Reading Room at 50 Sussex following the signing of the historic Hans Island accord on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.
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The announcement of a treaty settling Canada’s “Whiskey War” with Denmark was historic by any measure (dram?). It established Canada’s first land border with a country other than the United States, and it formalized the world’s longest maritime boundary.

The place where history was made — 50 Sussex Drive, headquarters of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Canadian Geographic — was perfect for the purpose, located just down the road from Global Affairs Canada’s Lester B. Pearson Building, and home to an organization dedicated to imparting knowledge about Canada’s human and physical geography.

Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly hosted a luncheon for Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, Greenland Prime Minister Múte B. Egede, Greenland’s Foreign Minister Vivian Motzfeldt, their delegations and special guests in the Upper Gallery at 50 Sussex, with spectacular views of the Rideau Falls, two provinces and three rivers.

The treaty signing, ministerial statements and news conference took place in the Main Gallery, with many attendees tweeting about the occasion. 


After the formalities ended, Joly and her guests, including Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok, held a series of bilateral meetings at 50 Sussex. Their tweets from the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Reading Room, small board room and other Society spaces provide a glimpse of history in the making.


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