PM Trudeau delivers remarks during a visit by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in Montreal
Hello everyone. Thank you for being here today. It is our pleasure to welcome to Ottawa the Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls. He will be spending the next few days with us and will be accompanying me to Montréal later today. Since his arrival, Prime Minister Valls and I have already had a chance to get to work. We’ve had substantive discussions about the shared objectives of our two countries. Objectives such as fostering economic growth to help the middle class succeed and prosper. Or strengthening the already significant cultural linkages that exist between our two countries.
Of course, we have also discussed ways of promoting peace, security and sustainable development throughout the world. Today, with the renewed cooperation agenda, the Prime Minister and I have reiterated our commitment in several areas.
On the economic front, Prime Minister Valls and I agree that growing and the strengthening the middle class is of paramount importance for both Canadian and French societies. And crucial to this is the comprehensive economic and trade agreement. By getting this deal done we'll open up unprecedented markets for Canadian goods and services. Mutually beneficial to both of our peoples, CETA is good for workers, business owners, and families.
The Prime Minister and I also discussed the importance of research and innovation in growing local and national economies. We will continue to champion innovation by supporting our post-secondary systems, young workers, and small business owners. And innovation is intrinsically linked to our shared fight for a cleaner planet.
Canada and France are aware of the profound consequences engendered by climate change. We believe that our two countries must do their part to leave a greener, better world to our children and grandchildren. France has played a leading role in helping the world community to reach a consensus around fighting climate change. That exemplary leadership was evident when France hosted the Paris Climate Conference in December. Canada is proud to join France in the context of international efforts to address climate change, whether it’s… ratifying the Paris Agreement or creating a carbon pollution pricing system.
The Prime Minister and I also spoke about strengthening our presence at the United Nations, at NATO, and within the G-7. We understand the importance of international diplomacy and cooperation. In fact, Canada has provided airlift to French troops that are helping to build peace in Mali. Looking to the future, we’re eager to collaborate further within international bodies to serve the best interests of both Canadian and French citizens.
And on the subject of international partnership, Canada and France will continue to work together and indeed increase our collaboration on pressing global health issues like Ebola and Zika.
The Canada-France relationship is unlike any other. We are true partners and friends in many, many respects. And much of that strong partnership boils down to what we share: a common language, a common history, and a common set of values -- values like democracy, diversity, and government transparency.
Our friendship is also strengthened by the direct, unique and privileged relationship that Quebec and France have been cultivating for many years. Through their combined efforts, the connections between the French and Quebecers continue to multiply in fields such as education, culture and the economy. All Canadians benefit from this. Indeed, I am looking forward to joining Mr. Valls and Mr. Couillard… at the invitation of Mr. Couillard, to discuss CETA and international trade later this afternoon in Montréal.
And finally, we have a busy year ahead of us. 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. 2017 will also be the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the 150th anniversary of the city of Montréal. It will be an opportunity for our two countries to celebrate these milestones together. There is no doubt that Canada and France share a remarkable past, enriched by history. That said, however, I am all the more confident that we will build an even more remarkable future together thanks to that friendship.