Leo Varadkar to Join Justin Trudeau in a Pride March in Montreal
Indian-origin Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will be the first foreign head of a government to participate in a pride march.
Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the country’s first openly gay leader, will march with Justin Trudeau at Montreal’s Pride parade during his three-day visit to Canada starting from Saturday.
The two leaders met in Ireland in July, after Varadkar took office as Prime Minister. The two will continue their discussions from the July meet, a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office stated.
Diversity and Inclusion
Their discussion will focus on diversity and inclusion and how the countries can benefit from the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, (CETA), which comes into effect on Sept. 21.
“Ireland and Canada are close friends, and I look forward to meeting again with Taoiseach Varadkar in Montreal. Our two countries enjoy strong family ties, common values and a shared history,” Mr. Trudeau said in a statement.
“Now, we are collaborating again to ensure that CETA creates good, well-paying middle-class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic,” he added. CETA is expected to be a major topic of discussion between the two leaders.
Canadian Prime Minister’s office emphasized on the close ties between the two nations highlighting that, more than 4.5 million Canadians claimed Irish ancestry in 2011.
Canada and Ireland share strong economic ties. The two countries have strong commercial relations with two-way bilateral merchandise trade worth $2.4 billion in 2016, making it Canada’s tenth largest trading partner in the European Union. In that year, Canadian exports totaled $496 million and imports were over $1.9 billion, the release stated.
The Abortion Debate
Both the leaders share similar political views about international cooperation, free trade and diversity however their respective country laws hold opposing views about abortion. While abortion is legal in Canada, Ireland allows it only if woman’s life is in at risk.
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights reached out to Trudeau, who agreed to to bring up the issue with Varadkar who describes himself as “pro-life.”
“With the Irish Prime Minister coming to Canada, there is a really great opportunity to talk about women’s rights, reproductive rights and access to abortion,” said Meghan Doherty, global policy and advocacy officer at the pro-choice charity, reported The Globe and Mail.