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New Irish-Canadian Scholarship Scheme in honour of the late Jim Flaherty


In Toronto, Minister Flanagan and Foreign Minister Nicholson to announce new Irish-Canadian Scholarship Scheme in honour of the late Jim Flaherty

Seven scholarships per annum will enhance strategic, trade and cultural links between the two countries

The first day of Minister Charlie Flanagan’s Saint Patrick’s Day programme in Toronto will focus on high-level political, business and Irish Community engagements, during which the Minister will announce new government support for two important Irish-Canadian projects.

Minister Flanagan will brief a 100-guest Enterprise Ireland and Irish-Canadian Chamber of Commerce breakfast event on Ireland’s economic recovery and the potential for further trade and investment between the two countries. Minister Flanagan will meet his new Canadian counterpart, Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson, to discuss ways to enhance the Irish-Canadian economic and trade relationship, focusing on the potential of the new EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA). This agreement has the potential to grow Irish exports to Canada by €250 million a year. The two Ministers will also discuss current foreign policy issues including Ukraine, the Middle East and Iran.
Minister Flanagan and Minister Nicholson will jointly announce the establishment of the James M. Flaherty scholarship.

This scholarship programmes seeks to commemorate the memory of Jim Flaherty, Canada's federal Minister of Finance from 2006 to 2014, who passed away last year. In recognition of the considerable work undertaken by Mr. Flaherty on behalf of Ireland during his lifetime, the Irish and Canadian Governments have partnered with the Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF) to support educational exchange between the two countries.

Minister Flanagan will set out the details of the programme at the Ireland Fund of Canada event in honour of Jim Flaherty, which will be attended by 1,200 guests. The Minister will meet the late Mr Flaherty’s wife, Christine, members of his family, as well as Mr Flaherty’s successor as Finance Minister, Joe Oliver.

Minister Flanagan commented:

“Jim Flaherty was a true friend of Ireland and I am delighted that the Irish Government will be in a position to join with the Canadian government in providing funding to establish a world-class academic scholarship in his memory. I believe that the ties of friendship which join our two countries, and which were exemplified in the life of Jim, will be further strengthened as a result of this scholarship programme.

“Last year Minister Noonan spent St. Patrick's Day in Toronto with Jim Flaherty, his close friend. Jim leaves a remarkable legacy, not just in terms of his contribution to Ireland, but also in terms of his remarkable commitment to public service and his exceptional record as Canadian Finance Minister. I hope that this scholarship will encourage young people in Canada and Ireland to emulate Jim's legacy.”

Later today, Minister Flanagan will visit the Ireland Park famine memorial in Toronto. Together with the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, and other city councillors, the Minister will announce joint funding for a memorial in honour of George Robert Grasett, Toronto’s chief medical officer who died while caring for arriving Irish famine victims. The Irish Government’s contribution to the memorial, made through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Emigrant Support programme, will amount to €105,000.

The Minister will then take part in the 400-guest St Patrick’s Day Grand Marshal Reception honouring Toronto Chief of Police, Bill Blair.


Press Office

13 March 2015