PARIS — Canada is offering homegrown softwood lumber and steel to help with the reconstruction of Paris’s famed Notre Dame Cathedral, which was partially destroyed by fire in mid-April.
In a letter sent to French President Emmanuel Macron this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was proud to support France in the reconstruction of the iconic monument.
The Canadian Steel Producers Association and the Forest Products Association of Canada have already indicated their support for the Canadian government initiative.
“The success of these sectors reflects the talent and hard work of Canadians, and we will be happy to put these assets to work for France,” Trudeau wrote.
Trudeau was in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday to take part in a series of meetings in the fight against extremism and online violence, some two months after an attack at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, left 51 dead.
Not long after arriving in Paris, Trudeau visited Notre Dame alongside the cathedral’s rector, Patrick Chauvet, and French Culture Minister Franck Riester.
A fire devastated the 12th-century cathedral on April 15, with the dramatic blaze playing out live on television across the globe.
Trudeau said at the time he was heartbroken to see the cathedral in flames, and that his thoughts were with his French friends as the country battled the devastating blaze.
Firefighters finally managed to gain control the blaze after several hours. The main structure and relics were preserved, but the cathedral’s roof and its famous spire were destroyed.
Trudeau will take part in the Christchurch Call to Action summit co-hosted by Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. He is also scheduled to speak at VivaTech summit, an annual event celebrating innovation that brings together startups and industry leaders.
Trudeau also has several bilateral meetings scheduled with the leaders of Jordan and Norway today and France and New Zealand on Thursday.
Catherine Levesque, The Canadian Press