Governor General to visit Israel

President Reuven Rivlin confers with Gov. Gen. Julie Payette (Mark Neiman/GPO)

Canada’s Gov.Gen. Julie Payette will travel to Jerusalem from Jan.22 to 24, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced.

Payette will join leaders from around the world to participate in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre. The forum, “Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism,” will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

While there, the governor general will lay a wreath in honour of the more than six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Seventy five years after the end of the Second World War, at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Canada and around the world, education and remembrance of the horrors of the Holocaust are more important than ever.

During her visit, the governor general will meet with the president of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, to reinforce the enduring friendship between Canada and Israel. She will also attend a dinner hosted byt Rivlin, together with other heads of state and government representatives.

“For over 70 years, Canada and Israel have shared a special bond rooted in mutual respect, shared values, and strong people-to-people ties,” Trudeau said. “The governor general’s visit will help deepen our already close relationship, as she represents Canada and pays tribute to the strength and resilience of the Jewish people.”

This will be Payette’s first official visit to Jerusalem. The last governor general to visit was the Right Honourable David Johnston in 2016. A multi-partisan group of members of Parliament from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group, including Chair Michael Levitt, will travel with Payette as part of the Canadian delegation. There are close to 35,000 Canadians living in Israel, and the Canadian-Jewish community includes more than 390,000 people, the fourth largest Jewish community in the world.