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Canada-France Relations

Canada and France have a long-standing, close relationship based on a common history and language; shared values; and diversified cooperation. The bilateral relationship is framed by the Enhanced Cooperation Agenda, designed to foster cooperation and ensure peace, security, sustainable development and prosperity. Multiple roadmaps and joint action plans have been developed recently to deepen bilateral cooperation, especially in the fields of peacekeeping, environment and climate change, international assistance and sustainable development and culture. Both countries are working together to promote multilateralism and progressive values, including gender equity and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The first meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, took place at the NATO Summit in Brussels in May 2017, and their first bilateral meeting took place on the sidelines of the G7 Summit held in Taormina, Italy the same month.

In addition to meeting frequently at international summits, this partnership is underpinned by frequent high-level meetings on both sides of the Atlantic. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a bilateral visit to France on April 16 and 17, 2018, accompanied by the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade; the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change; and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, as well as a trade delegation representing the fields of green tech and artificial intelligence.  The prime minister met with President Macron and Prime Minister Philippe Philippe. The first prime minister in a Canadian government to do so, Prime Minister Trudeau also addressed all the members gathered in the Chamber of the French National Assembly. On June 6 and 7, 2018, it was President Emmanuel Macron's turn to visit Canada on the sidelines of the G7 Summit. Prime Minister Trudeau then returned to Paris on May 16-17, 2019, responding to the call for Christchurch to combat violent extremism, including online.

Canada and France regularly take the opportunity to highlight the deep ties of their relationship during the numerous ceremonies commemorating the First and Second World Wars. In 2017, two major Canadian commemorations were held in France: one for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which the Prime Minister and the Governor General attended, and one for the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. In November 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau traveled to France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. The Prime Minister also attended the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2019.

France is a major international ally for Canada as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7 and the G20; a founding member of the European Union; and a key partner in La Francophonie. France and Canada cooperate closely on foreign policy matters, as the two countries have a shared vision for international relations: a commitment to multilateralism; a focus on finding constructive solutions to international security problems; the protection of the environment; and the promotion of democracy, human rights, gender equality, good governance and development.

Canada and France work closely together in many of the world’s hot spots, including the Sahel, the Baltics and the Middle East. As part of Canada’s return to peace operations, Canada committed to deploy a Royal Canadian Air Force tactical group to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali for a period of 12 months. Canadian and French troops are also part of NATO’s deployment in the Baltics. Canada and France are also fully engaged in the campaign against Daesh in Iraq.

Canada and France enjoy excellent relations in the world of academia. With numerous Canadian Studies Centres in France and hundreds of student exchange agreements signed between Canadian and French institutions of higher education, a large number of French students come to Canada every year. France is also one of the most popular destinations for Canadian post‑secondary students, particularly among non-anglophone destinations. Canada signed its first Youth Mobility Agreement with France in 1956. The latest agreement, in effect since 2015, allows Canadian and French young adults aged 18 to 35 to work, travel and intern in the other country for up to 24 months.

In France, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Paris. Canada has consulates headed by honorary consuls in Lyon, Nice, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and Toulouse. France is represented in Canada by its embassy in Ottawa and has consulates in Vancouver, Toronto, Montréal, Quebec and Moncton.


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