French president to visit Canada Nov. 2-4, will address Parliament
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech for the inaugural exhibition of the Picasso Museum in Paris on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. (AP / Jacques Brinon)
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, October 27, 2014 5:41PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 27, 2014 5:53PM EDT
OTTAWA, Ont. -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the president of France will make his first state visit to Canada Nov. 2-4 and will address Parliament.
Harper's office says Francois Hollande will also visit Calgary and Banff, the first time a French president has made an official visit to western Canada.
The French embassy says Hollande will also visit Montreal and Quebec City.
The last French president to make a formal state visit to Canada was Francois Mitterrand in 1987, although Nicholas Sarkozy was here for a European Union-Canada summit in 2008.
The PMO says Hollande will be accompanied by several cabinet ministers and a large business and academic delegation.
The trip will focus on greater co-operation on international security and threats, trade and economic development, innovation, and broader people-to-people ties.
France is Canada's eighth-largest commercial partner, with bilateral merchandise trade totalling more than $8.5 billion in 2013.
"Canada and France enjoy close historical ties, a dynamic and expanding bilateral relationship, and an unwavering commitment to democracy, freedom and justice," Harper said in a statement.
"It is therefore an honour to invite our close friend and ally French President Hollande to address our own bastion of democracy: the Canadian Parliament."