French president to address Parliament during 1st state visit to Canada

French President François Hollande will address Canada's Parliament during his first state visit to Canada Nov. 2-4, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in a written statement today.

François Hollande will also visit Calgary and Banff

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the president of France will address Canada's Parliament during his first state visit to Canada Nov. 2-4. French president François Hollande, left, is seen here shaking hands with Harper at a bilateral meeting of the NATO 2014 Summit in South Wales, on Sept. 5, 2014. (Alain Jocard, Pool/The Associated Press)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the president of France will make his first state visit to Canada Nov. 2-4 and will address Parliament.

Harper's office says François Hollande will also visit Calgary and Banff, the first time a French president has made an official visit to western Canada.

The French embassy says Hollande will also visit Montreal and Quebec City.

The last French president to make a formal state visit to Canada was Francois Mitterrand in 1987, although Nicholas Sarkozy was here for a European Union-Canada summit in 2008.

The PMO says Hollande will be accompanied by several cabinet ministers and a large business and academic delegation.

The trip will focus on greater co-operation on international security and threats, trade and economic development, innovation, and broader people-to-people ties.

France is Canada's eighth-largest commercial partner, with bilateral merchandise trade totalling more than $8.5 billion in 2013.

"Canada and France enjoy close historical ties, a dynamic and expanding bilateral relationship, and an unwavering commitment to democracy, freedom and justice," Harper said in a statement.

"It is therefore an honour to invite our close friend and ally French President Hollande to address our own bastion of democracy: the Canadian Parliament."