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Canada-France Relations

Canada and France maintain a rich and strong relationship, rooted in a shared history and common language. A permanent member of the UN Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the G7 and the G20, a founding member of the European Union and a key partner within the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, France is one of Canada’s closest allies.

With a shared vision of international relations founded in multilateralism and a rules-based international order, Canada and France cooperate closely on international security, environmental protection and efforts to fight climate change, the promotion of democracy and good governance, human rights, and gender equality.

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron have fostered a France-Canada relationship in the service of a fair, equitable international order based on respect for law. Canada and France have established and furthered a framework for their joint actions, primarily in the areas of culture, the environment and the fight against climate change, international assistance and sustainable development, artificial intelligence, and defence. To further institutionalize and strengthen their partnership, Canada and France have committed to holding a joint Council of Ministers.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Emmanuel Macron have maintained regular contact, and Canada and France have worked together closely to ensure the continuation of airlines, repatriate fellow citizens and provide equitable access to vaccines. In addition to meetings during international summits, regular visits by elected officials, ministers and heads of government and state take place on both sides of the Atlantic, marking the continuity of the historical relationship between Canada and France. Furthermore, the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association gives Canadian and French parliamentarians the opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest.

With their shared Francophone culture, Canada and France work closely together within the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie as its two largest donors. Working together in this significant multilateral space ensures ongoing engagement with French‑speaking populations—starting with youth, women and girls—in all their diversity. It also ensures the advancement of shared priorities with respect to the French language, peace, democracy and human rights, education, and economic cooperation in the service of sustainable development.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are priorities that Canada and France share. At the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, held in June 2021, Canada and France launched an initiative highlighting the importance of funding feminist organizations working to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. In order to contribute to the advancement of gender equality within their respective public services, a seminar of Canadian and French senior officials was held in 2021 to share best practices in this area. During their successive G7 presidencies in 2018 (Canada) and 2019 (France), France followed the precedent set by Canada and maintained the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council.

Through the Franco-Canadian Defence Cooperation Council, Canada and France maintain a high-level dialogue that fosters increased cooperation. Canada and France work together closely in a number of hot spots around the world, including the Sahel, the Baltics and the Middle East. In the Sahel, Canada is providing air transportation support to the French army through Operation FREQUENCE. French and Canadian troops are also part of NATO’s deployment in the Baltic states: French troops served in Lithuania and Estonia, while Canada is leading the deployment of the Enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia. Canada and France are also involved in NATO Mission Iraq. Canada and France regularly highlight the deep ties of their bilateral relationship during the numerous ceremonies commemorating the First and Second World Wars.

Canadian and French academic institutions work closely together, and hundreds of student exchange agreements have been signed between higher education institutions. The latest agreement, in effect since 2015, allows Canadian and French youth aged 18 to 35 to work, travel and complete an internship in the other country for a period of up to 24 months.  

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

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Date Modified:
2021-10-20