Leo Varadkar to make official visit to Canada next week

The Taoiseach will join Justin Trudeau at Montreal Pride

Leo Varadkar to make official visit to Canada next week

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at Farmleigh, Dublin in July | Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

The Government has confirmed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will make an official three day visit to Canada next week.

The trip will begin on Sunday August 20th with a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal.

Mr Varadkar will also visit Toronto, where will carry out a number of engagements focused on growing trade between Ireland and Canada.

This will include addressing the Ireland-Canada Chambers of Commerce and a series of meetings with IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland.

The Taoiseach will also turn the sod on a new park in Toronto in memory of Dr George Robert Grasett, who tended to Irish famine victims on their arrival in Canada in the late 1840s.

He will also be briefed on customs arrangements at the US/Canadian border.

Mr Varadar will also join Mr Trudeau at the Montreal Pride Parade.

Justin Trudeau and Leo Varadkar took a jog in Dublin's Phoenix Park during his visit to Ireland | Image: Twitter

Speaking ahead of the visit, The Taoiseach said: "I had the pleasure of welcoming Prime Minister Trudeau to Ireland early last month when we discussed a number of issues concerning Irish and Canadian relations.

"This return visit to Canada offers the opportunity to deepen the very important bilateral relationship between our two countries, a process that will be further accelerated through the CETA trade deal which comes into effect in September."

"In the context of Brexit, it is more important than ever that the Irish Government seeks to expand our markets overseas and strengthen our relationships with major trading partners.

"In Toronto and Montreal I will meet with political and business leaders to further explore investment and tourism opportunities for Ireland."

Over 4.5 million Canadians claimed Irish ancestry in 2011, making the Irish-Canadian community one of the largest ethnic groups in Canada.

The two countries have bilateral trade worth in excess of €2.75bn a year, while Canadian investment in Ireland is estimated at CAN$14bn (€9.36bn).