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.
Canada and France cooperate globally in support of multilateralism and a rules-based international order; international security; the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change; the promotion of democracy and good governance; human rights; gender equality; and a shared Francophone culture.
Since 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron have dedicated the Franco-Canadian relationship to the service of a just and equitable international order based on the rule of law. Bilateral commitments structure our joint actions, notably in the areas of culture, the environment and the fight against climate change, international aid and sustainable development, artificial intelligence, and defence. The leaders reconfirmed their bilateral priorities through a joint statement, issued in June 2021 on the margins of the G7 Leaders' Summit.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Emmanuel Macron maintain regular contact on the war in Ukraine. Both Leaders have also maintained regular contact in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.
A shared Francophone culture
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. Among the recent products of this collaboration, in 2020 TV5 Monde and TV5 Québec-Canada launched the digital platform TV5MONDEPlus with a mandate to broadcast French-language audiovisual productions around the world.
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. As part of its G7 presidency in 2019, France followed the precedent set by Canada the previous year by maintaining the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council.
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.
Science, technology and innovation
France is a priority country for Canada in terms of scientific cooperation and technology partnerships. Canada and France are committed to strengthening their cooperation in the fields of science, technology and innovation. High value-added partnerships with a focus on innovation are being developed in strategic sectors: aerospace; medical technologies; biotechnology as applied to medicine and agro-industry; technologies for precision agriculture; green technologies; renewable energy; advanced materials; nanotechnologies; and information and communication technology.
France is a top-ten trading partner for Canada – ninth largest for goods trade and sixth largest for services. France is also the 12th largest foreign investor in Canada, with a stock of $14.1 billion in direct investment in Canada at the end of 2021. The commercial relationship between Canada and France is underpinned by the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which has been provisionally applied since 2017. CETA creates opportunities for French and Canadian businesses by eliminating tariffs and increasing the mobility of business people, among other things.
Canada and France share extensive defence cooperation in a bilateral and multilateral context. Within the framework of the bilateral Franco-Canadian Defence Cooperation Council (FCDCC), the two countries share strategic analyses, discuss military cooperation, and conduct exchanges in the fields of research, development, and defence equipment. In addition to being NATO Allies, Canada and France work closely in multilateral fora to cooperate on defence and security matters. Canada and France are also Allies in the Global Coalition to Defeat Da’esh and work together closely in a number of hot spots around the world. Canada and France regularly highlight the deep ties of their bilateral relationship during the numerous ceremonies commemorating the First and Second World Wars.
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.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and France work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- European Union (EU)
- La Francophonie
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN)
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
- Open Government Partnership (OGP)
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
- The Pacific Alliance
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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