Relations between Ireland and Canada are close, based on family ties, cultural affinities and shared democratic political traditions. Over 4.4 million Canadians (or 14% of the population) claim some Irish ancestry, making the Irish the fourth-largest ethnic group in Canada. Diplomatic relations between Canada and Ireland were established in 1939. In recent years, shared values and interests have provided the basis for a further strengthening of the Canada-Ireland relationship, particularly in meeting the challenges of domestic and global governance. There is a growing dialogue and increased cooperation and sharing of "best practices" on development assistance, education, parliamentary reform, healthcare, and in other social and economic policies.
Internationally, Canada and Ireland collaborate closely at the United Nations, in the Human Security Network and other international fora to advance our strong commitment to multilateralism, peacekeeping and development assistance - particularly with respect to Africa. Both Ireland and Canada were leaders in building international support for the Ottawa Treaty to ban landmines.
Canada-Ireland interparliamentary relations have been particularly active since March 1998. The Ireland-Canada interparliamentary group is the largest such entity in Canada's Parliament. High-level visits and business missions traditionally constituted a key element in the Canada-Ireland relationship.
Canada and Ireland are party to several bilateral treaties, including a Double Taxation Treaty (2005), a Social Security Agreement (1992), and a Film and Video Relations Agreement (1989).
A Blue Skies air agreement was signed between Ireland and Canada in April 2007, which allows Canadian and Irish air-carriers to provide services between cities in Canada and Ireland. It also allows Canadian and Irish carriers to use each other’s country as a platform to serve other destinations. In the spring of 2014, year-round direct flights between Canada and Ireland were established by two carriers. A new seasonal service between Atlantic Canada and Dublin was also established on a seasonal basis. The Working Holiday Program (WHP) agreement, signed by both governments in 2003, has proved to be an effective vehicle for strengthening ties between Canadian and Irish youth. This initiative gives young Canadian and Irish adults (under 35 years of age) the opportunity to work and/or vacation in the other country.