Irish PM to march in Montreal Pride with PM Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arrive at Dublin Castle for a state dinner on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 in Dublin. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, August 15, 2017 11:49AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 15, 2017 4:11PM EDT
OTTAWA -- Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will march in Montreal's Pride Parade later this month.
Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, plans to join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the annual parade on Aug. 20. Varadkar will visit Canada from Aug. 19 to 22, Trudeau's office said Tuesday morning.
This will be the first time a foreign head of government walks with a Canadian prime minister in a Canadian pride parade, Trudeau's office said.
Varadkar is Ireland's first openly gay leader. Last week, he attended a Pride breakfast in Belfast during his first official visit to Northern Ireland, though he said he couldn't attend the parade itself due to a commitment in Dublin.
Gay marriage is still illegal in Northern Ireland.
The two prime ministers "will continue discussions from this past July when the two leaders met for the first time in Dublin, Ireland," according to the news release.
Their discussions will focus on diversity and inclusion, as well as the Canada-EU trade agreement, which takes effect Sept. 21.
Trudeau's office says more than 4.5 million Canadians claimed Irish ancestry in 2011, making the Irish-Canadian community one of the biggest ethnic groups in Canada.
Ireland is Canada's 10th largest trading partner in the EU, with Canadian exports to the country totalling $496 million in 2016. Imports from Ireland were more than $1.9 billion.
The biggest product category imported from Ireland was pharmaceuticals and medical-related products, worth more than $970 million in 2016. Liqueurs and cordials were the sixth biggest import, at more than $61 million, with whiskey coming in 20th at $22.6 million, according to Industry Canada figures.
Canada's biggest exports to Ireland also included pharmaceuticals, as well as aircraft, newsprint and artificial body parts.
Looking forward to meeting @CanadianPM Justin Trudeau in Montreal this wkend to continue to strengthen Ireland-Canada relations— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) August 15, 2017