A new Irish Consulate is to open in Vancouver, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, has confirmed.
It reflects earlier comments by Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Leo Varadkar, who sought to expand Ireland’s diplomatic presence in Canada, given the close relations the two countries enjoy, and economic opportunities presented by new trade agreements between the EU and Canada, and Brexit.
Welcoming the news, Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada, Jim Kelly, noted that it “marks the first expansion of Ireland’s residential diplomatic presence in Canada since the opening of the original Mission in Ottawa in 1939.”
New Embassies will also open in Chile, Colombia, and Jordan, while a further Consulate will open in Mumbai, India’s commercial capital.
“The opening of a Consulate in Vancouver in western Canada reflects the strength of the Ireland-Canada relationship, the growing economic importance of that region and also the fact that there is a large Irish community now living there,” Minister Coveney said on October 10.
“This will strengthen our hand when helping Irish business to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), with the Consulate serving as a gateway for Irish business to western Canada,” he added.
The Consulate is expected to open no later than 2019. It will join Ireland’s existing Embassy in Ottawa, in providing advice and assistance to Irish citizens in Western Canada.
“For the new arrivals, for professionals looking to grow diaspora business networks, and for those wanting to explore the possibilities under the CETA, the Vancouver consulate is much needed. This is welcome news,” Cathy Murphy, Executive Director of the Irish Canadian Immigration Centre told Moving2Canada.