Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and children, Xavier, 10, Ella-Grace, 9, and Hadrien, 3, arrive in New Delhi on Saturday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s state visit to India is officially underway as he arrived with his family in New Delhi at sundown on Saturday.

The family, including wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and kids Xavier, 10, Ella-Grace, 9, and Hadrien, 3, emerged from the plane and delivered a traditional Indian welcome greeting, with their hands clasped together and their heads slightly bowed, to the delight of officials and Indian media waiting on the ground.

Hadrien did his best to steal the show, making off down the red carpet with the flowers handed to his father by an Indian official, leaving the rest of his family to manage the receiving line.

Trudeau’s trip to India included a refuelling stop in Rome, where Trudeau got out the kinks out midway through the 20-hour long journey by going for a run with his protective detail.

The seven-day Indian state visit is a mix of business meetings, round tables on education, women’s rights and human rights, tours of popular Indian sites and a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi later in the week.

“Wheels up for India and a busy visit, focused on creating good jobs and strengthening the deep connection between the people of our two countries,” Trudeau posted on his official Twitter account, along with a photo of the family boarding the plane in Ottawa.

The Trudeaus were greeted in Delhi by Nadir Patel, Canada’s high commissioner in India, his wife, Jennifer Graham, and their two-year-old daughter, Nylah.

Vikas Swaraup, the Indian high commissioner to Canada was also on the red carpet for the arrival, live tweeting shots waiting for the plane to land and once it was on the ground, saying that ”a long wait is finally over.”

Indian Minister of State for agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was the first to shake hands with the Trudeau family and was the one who gave Trudeau the bouquet Hadrien later absconded with.

Shekhawat’s presence is notable because among the concerns Trudeau is being asked to raise with the Indian government on this visit is recent Indian import taxes applied to chickpeas and other pulse crops.

A duty of 30 per cent was applied to chickpeas and lentils just before Christmas and was raised to 40 per cent on February 6, with the Indian government citing falling international market prices for the crops, abundant production elsewhere and a negative impact on Indian producers and domestic Indian prices of cheap imports.

A 50 per cent import duty was applied to yellow peas in November.

Conservative International Trade Critic Dean Allison was critical of Trudeau Friday for not including Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay on this trip to try and address the import duties. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger, Science Minister Kirsty Duncan and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi all travelled with Trudeau to India. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will meet him in the country.

Allison said Trudeau needs to explain what he plans to do to fight these duties when he isn’t bringing his agriculture minister to the table, given that India is an important export market for Canadian pulse producers.

Trade between India and China has more than doubled to $8.4 billion in the last decade. India is also the second largest source of immigrants to Canada and is a significant source of international students enrolling in Canadian universities.

Security is also going to be on the agenda on this trip regarding defence and counter-terrorism efforts. Canadian National Security Advisor Daniel Jean was in India last week to meet with his Indian counterpart to work on parts of the visit.

The issue of Indian politicians fearing there is a rise in Sikh separatist extremism behaviour coming out of Canada is also going to hang over this visit.

Trudeau’s first full-day itinerary Sunday includes a flight to Agra for a tour of the famed Taj Mahal before returning to Delhi for a round table with non-governmental organizations.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Annual pickleball tournament fills up quickly

Two-day event to take place indoors at Oceanside Place May 24-25

Lighthouse Country bus tour to focus on area’s tourism destinations

Business assocation wants more tourists to come to the area

Flock of spinners holding fleece and fibre fair in Coombs

Annual event raises money for Bradley Centre, supports local producers and vendors

BC Ferries CEO, president speaks to Parksville and Qualicum Beach chambers

Guest asks about Vancouver Island resident discount fares

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Man dead after crashing vehicle into hydro pole and tree in Gibsons

Dog also hurt in collision, which happened Wednesday morning

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

Construction crane tips over at Nanaimo work site

Incident happened Wednesday morning at Turner Road and Uplands Drive

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

Most Read