From 4th April to 10th April, the delegation will undertake meetings in New York and Toronto, where they will explore issues around parliamentary reform and women in leadership.
As part of the celebration of Scotland’s heritage in North America, they will participate in New York’s Tartan Day on Saturday 6th April along with pipers, bands and dancers with Grand Marshall Billy Connolly. They will also attend the St Andrews Kirkin’ of the Tartan Service, at the Brick Presbyterian Church.
While in New York Liam McArthur MSP will visit the Center for Court Innovation and Midtown Community Court, and Linda Fabiani MSP, as part of her role in the Young Women lead programme, will hold discussions which promote the empowerment of young women in politics and sport. This includes members from UN Women, Women’s Sport Foundation, and Susannah Wellford, founder of Running Start.
In Toronto, the delegation will undertake a packed programme at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, meeting with parliamentarians and focusing on parliamentary reform and training for members.
The Deputy Presiding Officer, Linda Fabiani MSP said:
“I am delighted to be able to mark Scotland Week in North America, particularly during our 20th anniversary year of the Scottish Parliament. By attending Tartan Day, we can continue the tradition of furthering positive links between our countries.
“These strong cultural connections between Scotland and North America transcend centuries, and we wish to build on our relationship and share our experiences of democracy, particularly during such a landmark year for our parliament.”
Other delegation engagements currently include:
• Meeting with Greg Berman, Center for Court Innovation and Judge Victoria Pratt, Newark Community Solutions.
• Meeting with Dina Deligiorgis, Jennifer Cooper, and Mitushi Das, UN Women.
• Breakfast meeting with CEO and Founder of Running Start, Susannah Wellford.
• Meeting with Clemence Henry, Community Impact Team, Women’s Sport Foundation.
• Meeting with Kevin McGurgan OBE, British Consul General in Toronto.
• Meeting with Deputy Mayor of Toronto, Ana Bailão.
• Meeting with Ms Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).
• Meeting with Amber Kellen, Director of Community Initiatives, Local Policy and Research, John Howard Society of Toronto.
• Meeting with Sunny Dhillon, Researcher and Program Manager, Safiyah Husein, Policy Analyst, and Reza Ahmadi, John Howard Society of Ontario.
• Meeting with Jocelyn McCauley, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy, Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
• Meeting with Ms Arezoo Najibzadeh, Executive Director, Young Women's Leadership Network.
• Meeting with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, the Hon Ted Arnott MPP.
• Meeting with Catherine Nasmith, Architectural Conservancy, Ontario.
• Meeting with the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
• Meeting with Mr Yasir Naqvi, CEO of the Institute of Canadian Citizenship
Since 1998, Tartan Day has been recognised by the U.S. House of Representatives as an official celebration of the contribution of American-Scots to U.S. culture and life.
The date of 6th April was chosen to mark the Declaration of Arbroath, and this year will be the 699th anniversary of that event.
Scotland Week 2019 is a week-long programme of events.