ICBA Newsletter – September 2020

A Message from Kate Hickey, Executive Director, ICBA

Dear Friend of the ICBA,

We have heard the word community used often during these past months. The ICBA is a community of people working in Irish and Canadian businesses navigating an uncertain landscape with optimism and fortitude.

Communication lies at the heart of any successful community and, in the absence of physical events, we have introduced new ways of bringing you information, insights and stories. Our new webinar series resumes on 17th September and we have launched a new podcast series called The Ireland Canada Connection (more on that below). Our updated fact sheet contains the most recent numbers and statistics that reveal the ever-growing strength of the Ireland Canada Relationship.

At a political level we welcome the priority given by the New Government to international trade. In the Dail on 22nd July, An Tánaiste stated “Bilaterally, business links between Ireland and Canada are deep and extensive - outside of Europe, the US and China, Canada is our largest indigenous export market.” To this end we have asked the new Government to prioritise the ratification of CETA (read on for more detail on this campaign)

As we settle into Autumn, we adjust to working in a different way. The ICBA strives to be a valuable resource and to support our members in this altered business landscape. The experience of each member is unique. If as an organisation we can assist and support you in any way, please get in touch.

Wishing you health and wellness,

Yours sincerely ,
Kate Hickey
Executive Director

Kate Hickey, ICBA

ICBA in the News

Trade with Canada is key to Ireland's post COVID19 recovery and mitigation against the impact of Brexit, therefore the ICBA is calling on the new government to ratify CETA as a priority.

Read more about our latest campaign and listen to ICBA Chair Chris Collenette on Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show below.

Chris Collenette, ICBA Chair, joins Pat Kenny on Newstalk to put forward the case for the new government ratifying CETA as a priority.

Launch of the Ireland Canada Connection Podcast Series

Ireland Canada Connection Podcast Series

Podcasts are quickly becoming one of the most effective ways for companies and organisations to communicate with customers, clients, and stakeholders. The message is delivered by the human voice, across platforms people are familiar with such as Spotify and Apple iTunes, and in a way that reaches busy people on the move.

In this context the ICBA has launched The Ireland Canada Connection podcast series, featuring interviews with leaders in business, culture and public affairs from across Ireland and Canada. Hosted by Patrick Haughey of AudioBrand, the series gets to the heart of what makes the great Ireland/Canada relationship tick, and features insights and advice about how to succeed in business in both nations.

CLICK HERE to listen and also to support the series by subscribing or following, and leaving a rating or review.

Greenfield Global

We congratulate ICBA Patron Member Greenfield Global on the opening of their 3,800 sq foot manufacturing facility in Port Laoise.  Greenfield is Canada’s largest producer of alcohol and fuel ethanol and will employ 75 people in it’s Port Laoise facility.

Thanks and Best Wishes to Ambassador Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly

We wish the very best to Ambassador Jim Kelly as he commences as Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN Security Council in New York.  Ambassador Kelly’s vision and championing of the Ireland Canada relationship created alliances on so many levels -education, political, business, culture and tourism.  For that the ICBA is indebted. We know that the Ireland Canada relationship will continue to flourish with the incoming Ambassador designate Eamonn McKee at the helm.

Ambassador Jim Kelly in coversation with Dan O'Donnell of the ICBA. In this short clip, Ambassador Kelly outlines how CETA has been a major boost for Irish companies accessing the Canadian market, particularly smaller ones that would have been unable to do so prior to the agreement.

Chrystia Freeland

Congratulations to Chrystia Freeland who has been appointed as Canada's first ever female Finance Minister.

Kevin Vickers, First Guest on the Ireland Canada Connection Podcast Series

Kevin Vickers

Former Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers, was our very first guest on The Ireland Canada Connection - the ICBA's brand new podcast series. Always a great friend to the ICBA and supporter of the Association’s work, Kevin left his post in Ireland in 2019 to become leader of the Liberal Party of New Brunswick in Canada.

In this interview Kevin talks about his time as Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, why he believes connectivity and relationship building are key to economic success, the great opportunities in cyber security and the green economy, and his decision to enter the political arena in New Brunswick.

We also explored more personal topics, such as his Irish roots, his time in the Canadian Mounties, and his road to recovery after he stopped a terrorist attack at the Canadian parliament building in 2014.  LISTEN HERE

What's Happening in Canada?

Shopify - Canadian company Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform designed for small and medium businesses to manage sales online, has recorded record growth in Q2 2020, making it the most valuable pubic company in Canada. The company first established operations in Ireland in 2015 initially hiring 50 people and since then, has expanded to employ over 400 people here, all working remotely. During the pandemic, Shopify has enabled many companies to move to selling online. They are also working with the Government of Canada on the Go Digital initiative to support small businesses to adapt their business. (WATCH: John Riordan of Shopify in conversation with Chris Collenette, ICBA Chair)

Public Service Pride Week in Canada - The week of August 24th was Public Service Pride Week in Canada, which is a week-long initiative for public service employees to come together with LGBTQ2+ communities and colleagues to celebrate diversity from a place of inclusion, empathy and love. Prime Minister Trudeau’s message on Public Service Pride Week can be viewed here. The Irish Embassy in Canada also joined in the celebrations, hosting a virtual talk with the Australian Embassy to discuss paths to marriage equality in Ireland, Canada and Australia.

COVID-19 initiatives in Canada The Canadian Government announced an investment of more than $3 million for Nova Scotia-based IMV Inc. to advance clinical development of its vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19 infection. This support is being provided with contributions from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program and the Next Generation Manufacturing Canada Supercluster.

The federal and Ontario governments are each kicking in $23.3 million to help increase production capacity of 3M’s medical-grade N95 masks in Canada. Quebec-based Medicom also produces N95 and surgical masks for frontline Canadian healthcare professionals.
(Credit:  Suzanne Drisdelle of the Canadian Embassy for contributing these stories)

What's Happening in Ireland?

Ireland’s new government - 140 days after people headed to the polls for the General Election in February, a new Government of Ireland was formed in June last.  Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party agreed to go into a historic coalition together after members from all three parties approved the deal.

Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin was elected Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) – a post he will hold until 2022, when he will be replaced by his predecessor Leo Varadkar of Fine Gael. In his acceptance speech, Martin acknowledged the different traditions of the three parties and pledged to lead a government programme of "recovery" and "renewal".

Minister Paschal Donohoe’s new European positionOne of the members of the new government, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, secured the position of President of the Eurogroup in July. Minister Donohoe won a secret ballot of 19 colleagues in, defeating the Spanish favourite, Nadia Calvino, who was backed by the European Union’s four biggest economies. The Irish Times describes the victory as “testament to the charm of a 45-year-old Dubliner who positioned himself as a bridge builder who could span the divide between the fiscally conservative northern nations and southern governments hardest hit by the pandemic”. (watch Paschal Donohoe deliver an address to ICBA membership in 2019 HERE)

Woman wins dream cottage in Co Mayo with €50 raffle ticketThis summer the Canada-based Irish owners of a cottage in Foxford, Co Mayo decided to raffle their house to raise funds for frontline healthworkers. The couple both survived COVID19 and wanted to ‘give something back’ after surviving the virus. The tickets cost €10 and they raised just short of €1 million. The lucky winner, Michele Hallahan, got the keys on Sept 1st. She had spent €50 on tickets. Speaking of her win she said, "I am definitely going to keep it, it is my dream home…I lived in the US for 20 years and always dreamed that I would own a cottage like this close to the Atlantic but this has come like a bolt out of the blue"

Valentia Cable Foundation Annual Lecture & Fireside Chat

Valentia Cable Foundation Annual Lecture

The VCF  Lecture will be held virtually on Friday Oct 9th  3.00pm – 5.30 pm and will be chaired by Ms Ann O'Dea, CEO of SiliconRepublic.com and will include speaker David Mc Court Chairman National Broadband Ireland. Following this, the Valentia Cable Foundation is  hosting a transatlantic panel with Hearts Content in Newfoundland Canada, featuring a fireside chat between the two communities and music performances on both sides of the Atlantic. This event will include the signing of a MOU will take place at the Cable Station on Valentia from 7.30pm - 9.00pm (BST) on Oct 9th.

To register for the event please see link here

ICBA Podcasts on Soundcloud



ICBA  & Mazars Webinar, 17th Sept at 4pm  - Managing the remote divide in a virtual workplace.
To register please email events@irelandcanada.com 

Thank you, and stay safe.

ICBA Newsletter – April 2020

A Message from ICBA Chair, Chris Collenette

Dear Friend,

The coronavirus has generated unprecedented uncertainty in every aspect of our lives. At the Ireland Canada Business Association we will continue to support our members throughout this challenging period. Given that reduced interaction is the best form of protection, we have postponed our member events until further notice . This includes the inaugural trade mission to Calgary and Vancouver to have taken place in May. This trade mission will now take place 24 – 28 May 2021.

On the ICBA website we have listed a number of useful links to provide information for our members to consider in responding to Covid 19. Here is the link. We have also listed a number of initiatives taken by the Irish & Canadian governments to protect communities and diminish the impact on employees, the economy and small businesses. If your business has a podcast or a webinar that will inform our members, please get in touch.

We are closely monitoring events and our thoughts are with patients in Ireland and across Canada whom the virus has now affected. I hope that you and your families keep well over the coming weeks.

Be safe, and stay well.

Kind regards

Chris Collenette

Chris Collenette

Chris Collenette, Chairperson

Why the 'Work from Home' model is the future

John Riordan, Director of Support at Shopify, in conversation with Chris Collenette, ICBA Chair

While most of us are now working from home as a result of Covid-19, some companies have been operating this model for many years. Shopify, a Canadian company and ICBA member,  is one such business. Having set up in Ireland in 2015, the global e-commerce platform employs over 300 people all across Ireland, all working remotely.

John Riordan, Director of Support at Shopify, recently joined Chris Collenette for an interview about why Shopify chose Ireland, the future of work, and Ireland's big advantage when it comes to attracting multinational companies.  In the above clip John outlines why he believes the 'work from home' model is the future. Full interview HERE.

"Today we think about those patients in Ireland and across Canada who are affected by Covid-19"

A St Patrick's Day message from Kate Hickey, Executive Director of the ICBA,
to all of our members, friends, and colleagues.

Thanks to everybody who joined us at the recent ICBA & Shannon Chamber Trade Briefing at Gateway Hub, Shannon, Co Clare. We heard excellent discussions and stories, including the success of Limerick company Samco providing biodegradable film to farmers across Canada.

Thanks especially to our panel of speakers: Pearse Conaty, Bank of Ireland, Suzanne Drisdelle, Canadian Embassy; Joanne McEnteggart, IQEQ& ICBA Vice Chair; Robert Shine, Samco; and Helen Downes of the Shannon Chamber.

Jim Kelly

"These are exciting developments at a moment of unique opportunity in our relations and demonstrate Ireland’s commitment to seize that moment. In these testing times, Ireland-Canada relations provide a welcome good news story"

Read Ambassador Jim Kelly's excellent article in The Globe and Mail HERE.

The Ambassador also joined Dan O'Donnell of the ICBA recently as part of our latest video series. In the below clip, Ambassador Kelly describes how CETA has been a major boost for Irish companies accessing the Canadian market, particularly smaller ones that would have been unable to do so prior to the agreement

Ambassador Jim Kelly in conversation with Dan O'Donnell, ICBA

PDAC Convention in Toronto

Sean Canney

Sean Canney TD, acting Minister of State for Natural Resources, provided the keynote address at the “Ireland – Open for Business” forum at the Prospectors and Developers Association Canada (PDAC) Convention and Tradeshow held in Toronto, 3 March.

The session provided updates of mineral exploration in Ireland and project overview from state bodies including Geological Survey Ireland, the Exploration and Mining Division of the Department Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Invest NI and the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG). The delegates were welcomed by John Boylan, Deputy Head of Mission, Irish Embassy in Canada, and Stephen Hughes, Head of Construction , Enterprise Ireland,

Minister Canney noted that Ireland’s rankings as a destination for FDI have improved, as measured by the Fraser Institute in 2019, now ranking 2nd for Policy Perception and enjoyed a world class applied research centre in iCRAG. The Minister's full speech can be read HERE.

"It has been the most successful 5-year period in IDA’s history” - Deirdre Moran, SVP Technology & Country Manager, Canada at IDA Ireland on recent record results and a new Dublin HQ. In conversation with Deirdre Giblin, Vice Chair, ICBA

ICBA Podcasts on Soundcloud



Naturally we have had to postpone all planned events for the foreseeable future but once rescheduled we will inform you of the new dates. We have already rescheduled the ICBA Trade Mission to Western Canada to 24 – 28 May 2021 and we will keep you posted on future events here and on our social channels.

Thank you, and stay safe.

Trade with Canada key to post-COVID-19 economic recovery and mitigation against Brexit

Ireland should not be the last EU country to ratify CETA, says trade association.

Ahead of Canada Day this Wednesday July 1st, The Ireland Canada Business Association (ICBA) is calling on the new government to ratify a hugely important trade deal between Europe and Canada. Failure to sign the agreement could hamper Ireland’s post-COVID-19 recovery and further expose the country’s economy to the impact of Brexit.

In recent years, Ireland enjoyed a trade surplus of as much as 726M EUR with Canada, with €1.4bn of Irish goods being exported to the country.

The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) removes 98% of customer duties, ends restrictions on open access to public procurement contracts, opens the services market, and delivers many other benefits for Canadian companies doing business in Europe and Canadian companies doing business in Canada. 13 other Member States have already ratified the deal, with Ireland now playing catch-up.

The ICBA represents some of the largest Canadian, and Canadian-owned companies in Ireland including Air Canada, Shopify, Irving Oil, Canada Life (Irish Life), TD Bank, Bank of Montreal, Scotia Bank, Vermillion Energy, PressReader, Greenfield Global, IMAX, and Voxpro (TELUS International). The number of jobs provided by Canadian companies in Ireland has grown by 25% since 2018 to over 15,000 and the number of new Canadian companies expanding into Ireland has more than doubled since Brexit was passed.

The ICBA believes that such a successful and valuable relationship must be nurtured and supported, and the association is calling on the new government to ‘get it over the line’ and pass CETA through Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann as soon as possible.

Chris Collenette, Chair of the ICBA:

“The IMF, Central Bank and ESRI all predict a dramatic fall in economic activity. Ireland, as a small and exposed economy, is particularly sensitive to the impact of a global recession. The economic fallout of Brexit will only compound this blow. Regardless of what comes over the next few months, two things are true. First, the new government has its work cut out to help the economy recover, and second, as an export driven economy, we will need to increase our trade internationally.

CETA has already fueled a more than 30% rise in the value of goods trade between Ireland and Canada. However, Ireland, which, post-Brexit, will be the only English speaking jurisdiction in the EU, is now behind Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden to formally ratify the deal with Canada, predominantly an English speaking country.

Just prior to COVID-19 hitting the country, we commissioned a survey of our members, including some of the largest Canadian, and Canadian-owned companies in Ireland. 70% of respondents had planned to hire more staff and 62% are set to increase wages. While that was pre-COVID19, it shows the investment sentiment is solid. Ireland is pushing an open door when it comes to attracting Canadian companies.

With a new Irish consulate in Vancouver, a new IDA office in Toronto, and a new EI office in Montreal ((in addition to the existing one in Toronto), the last government made significant progress developing this valuable relationship. Ratifying CETA through the Dail is really the last piece of the Canadian-Ireland puzzle and we are calling on the new government to do the right thing and ratify this deal as a priority”.

Chris Collenette is a Canadian who has lived in Dublin for over 12 years.
He is Consultant to Dublin law firm Philip Lee, and resident director of two Canadian companies with operations in Ireland.
He previously served as an advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Minister of Industry, and the Minister of Health.
Chris Collenette is available for further comment and interview on 086 6021736

Further Info: Patrick Haughey, ICBA Media Relations 087 2394054

Canada-Ireland relationship by the numbers, some supporting facts.

Companies and Jobs
• 616: The number of Irish companies that export to Canada.
• 25,000: The number of jobs in Ireland that EU exports to Canada help support.
• 15,000: The number of employees of Canadian companies in Ireland.
• Companies across Ireland export goods and services to Canada, for example:
• Ballymote, Co. Sligo – hockey sticks, healthcare products, computer parts.
• Swords, Co. Dublin – Air Condition Parts, Whey, Forklift Trucks
• Cork, Co. Cork – Tea, Medical Equipment, Cheese

Exports and Imports
• In goods, Canada is Ireland's 7th biggest trade partner outside the EU.
• €726 m - The value of Ireland's trade surplus with Canada.
• €1.4 bn - The value of Irish exports to Canada.
• €662 m - The value of Irish imports from Canada.

Canadian Employers in Ireland
• Galway – Celestica,
• Limerick – Optel,
• Cork – Open Text, eSentire, Irving,
• Dublin – Canada Life, TD Bank, BMO, Scotia Bank, Brown Thomas, Teknicor, ISC, Pressreader, Voxpro, RX Source
• Laois – Greenfield Global
• Mayo: Vermilion Energy
• Across Ireland – Shopify employs over 300 employees in Ireland working remotely.

About the ICBA:

The Ireland Canada Business Association is the representative voice of over 100 Canadian companies doing business between the two countries, 70 of which are Canadian co’s with Irish operations. 2018 marked the association’s 40-year anniversary. It has the mandate of promoting and developing trade and industrial links between Ireland and Canada.

The Patron of the Association is the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland. The ICBA has the active participation of Ireland and Canada’s most prominent business leaders as its core supporters and influencers. It is strongly affiliated with the Ireland Canada Chambers of Commerce in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver

Remembering Michael Hurley

The ICBA would like to express their condolences on the death of Michael Hurley, Deputy Ambassador to China. A much loved member of the DFA team, for the last five years Michael has supported and encouraged each ICBA trade mission to Canada. As Deputy Ambassador in Ottawa Michael helped plan the ICBA itineraries with the greatest enthusiasm. For all of us working with Michael was a pleasure through and through. Michael’s attendance at the ICBA Mission events was very much valued and we appreciated the efforts he made by travelling to Montreal and Toronto to welcome the ICBA Trade Mission participants. One of Michael’s last visits to Montreal was to to accompany the ICBA group and speak at the Ireland Canada Montreal summit. It is devastating for Michael’s family to lose such a special father and husband at such a young age. We know that Annemarie and the DFA team have lost a great man.

Michael Hurley

Article by Irish Ambassador to Canada Mr. Jim Kelly – 17 March 2020

Today is St Patrick’s Day, when Irish people celebrate our heritage and culture, together with our diaspora and friends around the world. In Canada, where one-seventh of the population claims Irish heritage, this special day recalls the deep historical connection between our countries, going back to the 16th century, when Irish fishermen first came to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.

In the following centuries, generations of Irish people came to seek a new life in Canada, many fleeing famine, economic deprivation or political oppression. Canada welcomed Irish people with generosity, and in turn they helped shape Canada, from Confederation to the present day. Their contribution is commemorated in the names of streets and towns across the country, and their positive influence is found in all walks of Canadian life.

We are fortunate to be able to build on the sturdy foundation of our common history. Today, we are forging an ever closer partnership based on shared values and interests, which our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar articulated when welcoming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Ireland in 2017:

“ … In an increasingly uncertain world, Ireland and Canada share the same outlook. We are like-minded. We believe in multilateralism, free trade, respect for personal liberty, the value of diversity, the benefits of migration, the need for climate action and openness to the world”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, shakes hands with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, at Farmleigh House, in Dublin, in a July 4, 2017, file photo.  PAUL FAITH/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The years since have seen rapid advances in that partnership, with strong growth in our bilateral trade, investment and tourism. This is all the more notable when set against the background of a turbulent period in international relations.

Two key developments have acted as catalysts for progress. The first is the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). By virtually eliminating trade tariffs and reducing regulatory barriers, CETA has created improved, more predictable trading conditions for business. The response has been dramatic. In the first year after the provisional implementation of CETA, the value of bilateral merchandise trade between our countries grew by close to 30 per cent.

The second, perhaps surprisingly, is Brexit.

Brexit presented significant political and economic challenges for Ireland, and continues to do so. The EU-U.K. Withdrawal Agreement meets our primary concern to safeguard peace and prosperity by avoiding any return to a hard border on the island of Ireland, while maintaining the Common Travel Area between Ireland and Britain, and protecting continuing North-South co-operation. In the upcoming negotiations, we will work with partners for the closest possible EU-U.K. relationship based on a balance of rights and responsibilities, including level playing field provisions for fair competition.

However, we know that in all scenarios Brexit will mean considerable change for our businesses trading with a U.K. outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union. We are preparing extensively for Brexit and have put measures in place over several budgets to support key sectors exposed to the British market, and to incentivize diversification. Even as Brexit presents ongoing challenges at home, however, it offers significant opportunities for the Ireland-Canada relationship. With CETA making it easier for companies to establish presences and invest in our respective jurisdictions, and Brexit driving diversification of our trade, Canada is a key target market for Irish business. Already, Canada is the 10th-largest market globally for Irish exports, while our companies are employing increasing numbers here in Canada in financial services, life sciences, business-to-business software and construction products.

Many Canadian companies and investors in financial services, technology and other sectors now look to Ireland’s unique offering as a culturally compatible, English-speaking, common-law country with barrier-free access to the 450 million consumers of the EU Single Market. With a business-friendly environment, a highly educated workforce and an economy averaging growth of four to five per cent per annum, Ireland provides the perfect gateway to the EU for Canadian business.

Since St. Patrick’s Day 2017, 21 members of our government have visited Canada in support of the growing bilateral relationship. In 2019, our government published its strategy to double our impact in Canada by 2025. To deliver this strategy, new resources have been provided to Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, our export and investment promotion agencies, as well as Tourism Ireland, whose efforts have seen Canada rise to become the No. 6 market globally for tourism into Ireland. Just over a year ago, we opened a new diplomatic consulate in Vancouver – our first new diplomatic office in Canada in 80 years. A second such consulate is due to be opened in Toronto in the next two years.

These are exciting developments at a moment of unique opportunity in our relations and demonstrate Ireland’s commitment to seize that moment. In these testing times, Ireland-Canada relations provide a welcome good news story, and one worth celebrating on this St Patrick’s Day.

Published: Globe and Mail, 17 March 2020

ICBA Newsletter – Christmas Edition

Season's Greetings from ICBA Chair, Chris Collenette

ICBA Chair, Chris Collenette, reflects on a very successful for year for the association and looks ahead to some significant events coming up in 2020

ICBA & ICUF Christmas Drinks 2019

Thanks to all who attended our 2019 Christmas Drinks this week, jointly hosted by the ICBA and ICUF. We enjoyed the great company of many members, friends and colleagues, including Deputy Alan Farrell in his capacity of head of the Ireland Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group and Penny and David Collenette PC.

Minister Paschal Donohoe delivers keynote at ICBA briefing

Paschal Donohoe

At a time in which our backs were really against the wall…Canada pressed the case for Ireland in some really, really important debates and some important decisions; and for that, I and we should always be grateful

Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, delivered a truly inspiring speech at November's ICBA business briefing, hosted by the National College of Ireland. He spoke about the growing economic and diplomatic relationship between Ireland and Canada and how our two nations can be true allies and champions of global trade. See the full interview HERE, and check out the short clip below where he describes being in the room with Ireland and Canada at the IMF.


Brexit will attract investors to Ireland ICBA

“If Ireland was a stock, I would buy. It’s probably ‘buy low’ right now still. I don’t think Ireland has achieved its full potential,” said Mr Hyder, who spoke at the annual Maple Leaf dinner of the Ireland Canada Business Association on Friday night.

Great coverage in The Irish Times of Goldy Hyder's recent trip to Ireland to be the keynote speaker at our annual Maple Leaf Dinner (photos below). Here's the full article.

The President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada joined ICBA Chair Chris Collenette for a quick chat 'backstage' in the Marker Hotel. Check out those socks!

Goldy Hyder & Chris Collenette in conversation

EU Economic Growth Forecast 2019

These figures from the European Commission’s Autumn 2019 Economic Forecast caught our eye. The European economy is forecast to grow for the seventh year in a row in 2019, with Ireland’s pace of growth forecast to be fastest at 5.6 percent, followed by 5.0 percent in Malta and 4.6 percent in Hungary.

Kevin Ahern of TD Securities Ireland on banking culture, attracting talent, and successful scaling. In conversation with Patrick Haughey.

ICBA Maple Leaf Dinner - Oct 2019

A short highlights video from the 2019 Maple Leaf Dinner

Thanks to everyone who joined us at the ICBA Maple Leaf Dinner 2019 - it was a fantastic night of socialising, networking and raising funds for our charity partners.

ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019

ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019
ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019


ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019
ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019


ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019

ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019
ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019


ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019
ICBA ICUF Christmas 2019


ICBA Trade Mission 2020

Following the success of this year's ICBA business mission to Toronto and Montreal, we're delighted to announce our 2020 mission to Western Canada. For all info email events@irelandcanada.com

ICBA Podcasts on Soundcloud


ICBA 2020 Events


Brexit will attract investors to Ireland, says Canadian business leader

Goldy Hyder says firms seeking stability want to avoid ‘short-term pain’ of UK’s exit

Brexit will present a “tremendous opportunity for Ireland” to attract investors concerned about the “short-term pain” facing the UK, the head of Canada’s most powerful business lobby group has said.

Goldy Hyder, president of the Business Council of Canada, which represents the chief executives of 150 large Canadian companies, said Ireland becoming the only English-speaking country in Europe under the EU-Canadian free trade agreement after Brexit made the State “an attractive destination for capital and talent”.

As the UK endures the “pain” of leaving the EU, Ireland could draw more investment from businesses in Canada that are looking for certainty in the political and business world, said Mr Hyder on a visit to Dublin.

“Businesses take a view of who offers me, as a business, the predictable, stable regulatory environment and also an environment that is attractive from the tax and talent side, and the Irish story is a very strong one,” said Mr Hyder, who represents companies accounting for half the value of Toronto’s stock exchange.

Ireland’s “resilience and rebound culture” in the decade since the financial crash and its embrace of an entrepreneurial culture, trade and multiculturalism “bode well for Ireland to be a magnet for both capital and talent” at a time when many other parts of the world were “going in other directions”, he said.

“If Ireland was a stock, I would buy. It’s probably ‘buy low’ right now still. I don’t think Ireland has achieved its full potential,” said Mr Hyder, who spoke at the annual Maple Leaf dinner of the Ireland Canada Business Association on Friday night.

Brexit an ‘anomaly’

Visiting Dublin after three days in the UK, which included a meeting at 10 Downing Street, Mr Hyder said Brexit was “unfortunate” and he hoped it was “an anomaly” while the world was breaking down into large trading blocs that provided businesses with predictability, certainty and confidence in markets.

Speaking a day after the EU and UK reached agreement on a new Brexit deal, he said he was “very pleased” to see the Irish-UK relationship remaining strong even on a bilateral rather than multilateral basis.

“Don’t short the UK,” he said, referring to the market bet against a share. “There may well be some short-term pain, but even their slogan – keep calm and carry on – has a certain applicability in this situation for them. There is a resilience and a resolve to continue.”

Mr Hyder expects the Conservatives to push for a UK-Canada free trade deal if Andrew Scheer unseats Canada’s liberal prime minister, Justin Trudeau, in Monday’s election.

He urged the Irish Government to ratify the EU-Canada trade deal, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or Ceta, as soon as possible to give business “confidence” in the deal.

Asked about Aer Lingus’s postponement of a new Dublin-Montreal air route because of the unavailability of new aircraft, Mr Hyder said Canadian airlines Air Canada and WestJet had established routes with Ireland and that these routes would lead to the launch of more to serve growing tourism between the countries.

“I think tourism is going to see a significant bump. It’s just natural,” he said.

Source: The Irish Times, 19 October 2019 - Simon Carswell, Public Affairs Editor

ICBA Newsletter – Autumn 2019

Dear all,

Welcome to our latest edition of our newsletter. I would like to say how delighted I am to become vice-chair of the Ireland Canada Business Association and look forward to working with the ICBA Advisory Council and also engaging with our members to continue growing and promoting Ireland Canada relations. We have very exciting plans ahead which I look forward to supporting the association in their implementation

We would like to hugely thank Suzanne Drisdelle, the Canadian Embassy's new Senior Trade Commissioner and Charge D'Affairs, for joining us at our recent leadership council meeting. It is very pleasing to hear about the Trade Commission Services strategic plans and Canada's international trade objectives.  We look forward to working with Suzanne and the Canadian Embassy and supporting each other as we continue to work on building trade relationships between our two countries and ensuring we provide our members – YOU – with any support you need in achieving your strategic objectives in both Ireland and Canada.

We would also like to extend a warm welcome to our newest members, Greenfield Energy, Nephin Energy, Hanover Communications and Accelerated Payments.

Lastly, we were all so thrilled for Bianca Andreescu, first Canadian ever to receive a Grand Slam singles title and such an achievement for a nineteen year old!  Congratulations to Bianca.

We hope to see you all at our Maple Leaf Dinner on October 18th at the Marker Hotel in Dublin, where we are honored to have Goldy Hyder, President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, as keynote speaker. It promises to be a great event, and you will find more details about it below.

Thank you

Joanne McEnteggart

Joanne McEnteggart, Vice-chair

Gerry Mongey receives ICBA Honorary Lifetime Membership Award

Kate Hickey, Deirdre Giblin, Gerry Mongey, and Suzanne Drisdelle

We were delighted to present Gerry  Mongey with an Honorary Lifetime Membership of the ICBA on her retirement as Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Embassy in Dublin -  Gerry is the first woman to receive this accolade.  So, thank you Gerry for all your hard work for us at ICBA and the Canadian embassy over the years.

Read the full tribute paid to Gerry as she accepted the award: https://irelandcanada.com/gerry-mongey-tribute/

Laureen Regan

Laureen Regan

IN PROFILE: Laureen Regan - President and Founder, Ireland Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary

"The time has never been better for Irish and Alberta businesses looking for new markets. Businesses and visitors alike will find a world of opportunity, an affordable business climate, young and educated workforce and a warm welcome in Alberta"

In the latest of our series of profiles on the organisations  helping Irish companies to thrive in Canada, we meet Laureen Regan, who heads up the Ireland Canada Centre of Commerce, Calgary, and who is also Honorary Vice Consul for Trade and Investment for Ireland. Waterford-born Laureen outlines the top reasons for choosing Alberta as a base, gives her advice on how to get established, and delivers a message to the Irish government on successfully seizing current business opportunities. Read the full article HERE.

ICBA - Roundtable Discussion - September 2019

Thanks to everyone who joined us at the ICBA roundtable featuring contributions from Honorary Vice Consul for Trade and Investment for Ireland, Laureen Regan, Darcy Kerwin of Vermilion, ICBA Vice Chair Joanne McEnteggart of IQEQ and Suzanne Drisdelle, Senior Trade Commissioner and Chargé d’Affaires of the Canadian Embassy in Ireland.

The ICBA wishes the very best of luck to the Ireland and Canada International Rugby squads as they progress in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Chris Collenette, Chairperson - ICBA & Joe Shannon, CEO - G Golf Ireland

With Shane Lowry winning the British Open at Royal Portrush, and Adare Manor being announced as host of the 2026 Ryder Cup, the world of golf has been big news this summer. Our new chairperson Chris Collenette caught up with ICBA member Joe Shannon, CEO of  G-Golf Ireland, to chat about Ireland as a golf tourism destination, it's huge value to the economy, and the burning question of who has the best golf courses, Ireland or Canada?!

ICBA Podcasts on Soundcloud



“I’ve said this many, many times before. I’m going to say it again: It’s been a goal of mine to inspire many people, especially Canadian athletes. I think that this win will hopefully do that, not only this win but just what I’ve accomplished this past year because so many Canadian athletes have paved the way for me when I was young.”

Bianca Andreescu (19) became the first Canadian ever to win a singles Grand Slam when she beat Serena Williams in the final of the US Open. Congratulations Bianca from all at the ICBA.

We are delighted that Mr Goldy Hyder, President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada will be our special keynote speaker at the annual ICBA Maple Leaf Dinner on October 18th.

The Council represents the chief executives and heads of 150 leading Canadian businesses, employing 1.7 million Canadians and composed of every major industry across the country.

Prior to this role, Mr Hyder was President & CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, and before that served as director of policy and chief of staff to The Right Honourable Joe Clark, former prime minister and leader of the then federal Progressive Conservative Party.

We look forward to hearing Mr Hyder’s insights on the great relationship and exciting opportunities that exist between Ireland and Canada right now. For more information and to book a place email events@irelandcanada.com

Ireland v Canada

RTÉ will carry live coverage of the Ireland's historic two-game Olympic qualifier against Canada at Energia Park in Donnybrook on 2nd and 3rd of November. Best of luck to both teams!

We wish Dan Costello the very best of luck as he moves from his role as Ambassador of Canada to the European Union on to pastures new. Dan delivered a fantastic address to last year's ICBA Business Summit and you can listen back to it here (introduction by Chris Collenette)


8th October ICBA member Geoscience Ireland, in collaboration with the Irish Mining and Quarrying Society,
will be hosting the ‘Mining Ireland’ conference this Oct 8th
at the Radisson Blu Airport, Dublin. For registration details please visit the IMQS

18th October - The ICBA Annual Maple Leaf Dinner, featuring Mr Goldy Hyder,
Business Council of Canada, as keynote speaker. Email events@irelandcanada.com.

21st November - Ireland Canada Trade Briefing - National College of Ireland.
Keynote address by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe.

In Profile: Ireland Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary

Ireland Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary Laureen Regan

In the latest of our special series of profiles, Laureen Regan, President and Founder of the Ireland Canada Centre for Commerce, Calgary, talks about doing business in Calgary and the province of Alberta.

Can you tell us a little about the ICCCC?

The Ireland Canada Centre for Commerce in Calgary works to promote and support bilateral trade between Alberta and Ireland.  We create collaboration opportunities and business connections between Irish and Canadian professionals through networking and industry-specific events featuring key business leaders and diplomats.

What originally brought you to Calgary?

Waterford born, my family immigrated to Alberta for work many years ago. Here they found many opportunities, a strong entrepreneurial spirit to match their own and a welcoming community.

What advice would you give Irish companies about business in Alberta?

Irish Companies looking to start or set up a business in Alberta can see success if they are committed to maintaining a permanent presence here. It is difficult to gain traction when visits to Alberta are monthly or only every few weeks. Relationships are very important in the business community. It takes time, in market, to build connections and foster and grow the relationships needed to succeed.

Why Calgary? Top three things that make it a great place to live and do business

  1. Quality of Life

We are ranked in the top 5 most liveable cities in the world. The pool of highly qualified workers has made Calgary a global talent hub that is home to innovators and entrepreneurs.

The City has the benefits of having a large metropolitan centre,  friendly and relaxed atmosphere, clean and safe environment, abundant green spaces and parks, longest urban pathway system, and an hour’s drive from the Canadian Rockies.

Calgary is ranked #1, out of Canada’s 100 largest cities for the sunniest days year-round – over 2,300 hours of sunshine annually!

  1. Connected to the World

Calgary has the highest head office concentration per capita in Canada. It has ready access to global markets through a highly integrated transportation and logistics system moving people, products, and services. Calgary also provides access to the rapidly expanding markets in Asia by air and via the Port of Vancouver and is also regarded by many European companies as a gateway to North America.

  1. Low cost of doing business

Compared to other Canadian jurisdictions, Alberta has no provincial sales tax, no health care premiums, lower personal income tax rates and the lowest fuel tax among provinces.

Calgary businesses also benefit from the fact that Alberta has no inventory tax, no machinery and equipment tax and no payroll tax, which are common in many other provinces and U.S. states.

Albertans. across all income ranges, will generally continue to pay the lowest overall taxes compared to other provinces.

If you could give one message to the Irish government about how to improve the Ireland Canada relationship, what would it be?

Canada is a large and diverse country, with much to offer. Alberta has strong, established markets in many sectors including agriculture, advanced industries, energy, renewables, forestry, water, manufacturing and more. Alberta also has leading university and research institutions.

Direct access through WestJet is opening up the Alberta market to Irish businesses and Canadian businesses are eyeing up the Irish and European markets.

Building awareness of the market opportunities in both directions is a crucial first step.

Is the future bright for Irish companies operating in or exporting to Canada?

The future is very bright for Irish companies looking for market access into Canada. Alberta has a strong focus on market diversification and a history of successful partnerships with many countries around the globe.

The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, direct flights and a vibrant province that is ‘open for business’ all work together to create a solid foundation for opportunities in multiple sectors.

Alberta opens the doors to Canadian, American and Asian markets.

Anything else you would like to mention…

The time has never been better for Irish and Alberta businesses looking for new markets. Businesses and visitors alike will find a world of opportunity, an affordable business climate, young and educated workforce and a warm welcome in Alberta.