The President of the Republic will make an official visit to Canada between Wednesday and Sunday, concentrated in Montreal and Toronto, with a program dedicated to Portuguese emigrant communities, in which he will be accompanied by deputies from six parties. During this visit, the Head of State will have a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday in Toronto, confirmed the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic.
This trip by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to Canada – where, according to the 2021 census, around 450,000 people of Portuguese origin live – coincides with the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the first officially registered Portuguese emigrants. Official Portuguese emigration to Canada began in 1953, following the establishment of official diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1952.
In Canada, the President of the Republic will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, Paulo Cafôfo, and deputies from all parties with parliamentary groups. The only representatives of the PAN and the Book, who have single deputies, will not go.
The PS will be represented by deputy João Azevedo e Castro and the PSD by Francisco Pimentel, both elected by the Azores, where a large part of Portuguese emigration to Canada comes from. MP Diogo Pacheco from Amorim will vote for Chega and parliamentary leader Rodrigo Saraiva for the Liberal Initiative. PCP deputies Bruno Dias and Bloco de Esquerda José Soeiro complete the delegation.
The Head of State will begin his visit to Montreal late Wednesday afternoon with a meeting and dinner with the Portuguese community. In Montreal on Thursday, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will also visit the Canadian Center for Architecture – whose collection includes the archives of Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira and other figures of world architecture – and the Mission de Santa Cruz. Still in Montreal, the President of the Republic will take a walk at the Parque de Portugal, towards Toronto on Thursday evening.
Friday, after his meeting with Justin Trudeau, he will inaugurate an exhibition on the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the first officially registered Portuguese emigrants in Canada and will speak with students from the University of Toronto.
In Toronto, the Head of State will also attend the laying of the first stone for the construction of the Magalhães Center, which will be a home for the elderly and a social center, and will have a meeting and dinner with the Portuguese community at the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). On Sunday, he will visit the Luso-Canadian Charity Society, an institution that helps people with disabilities, in Mississauga, near Toronto, in the afternoon.
At the end of the day, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will travel to the United States of America, to participate in the general debate of the 78th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, in New York, until September 23.
This official visit of the President of the Republic to Canada was preceded by the visits of the Prime Minister, António Costa, in 2018, of the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Augusto Santos Silva, in 2022, on the occasion of the Day of Portugal, and the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, Paulo Cafôfo, in May this year. The previous President of the Republic, Cavaco Silva, was in Canada in 2014, but only in Toronto, for two days.
Former head of state Jorge Sampaio carried out a more in-depth visit, lasting eight days, during which he visited eight cities, from the west coast to the east coast: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and São João da Terra Nova.
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