Deputy Presiding Officer Alasdair Morgan will represent the Scottish Parliament in North America when he departs today for Scotland Week.
Mr Morgan will carry out a number of engagements in both the USA and Canada, on visits within New York State and Ottawa, Ontario.
In Albany he will meet Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, of the New York State Assembly and in New York he will visit officials from the United Nations Democracy Fund, to discuss the international engagement work of the Scottish Parliament.
In Ottawa, the Deputy Presiding Officer will visit the Canadian Parliament, which recently adopted a resolution to mark Tartan Day each year on 6th April. He will have discussions with the Canadian Speaker of the House of Commons as well as meeting Canadian Parliament interns, who visited the Scottish Parliament last month as part of an exchange experience.
Other key representation engagements in New York include, participating with thousands of others in the annual New York Tartan Day Parade along 6th Avenue and joining in the congratulations for those taking part in the Scotland Run in Central Park. Also attending the Gala Opening of ‘The Promise’, from Scottish theatre group Random Accomplice.
Alasdair Morgan said:
“Scotland Week provides an opportunity for our Parliament to engage directly with the public and parliamentarians in North America and to add value to a wider package of events which promote Scotland in the USA and Canada.
“It is also appropriate that our visit to Canada will take place on the day in which Tartan Day is celebrated, for the first time across all of Canada.
"I am delighted to represent Scotland’s Parliament in North America this year.”
Tartan Day, April 6, is the key date at the centre of ‘Scotland Week’. This date recognises a resolution passed in the US House of Representatives in 1998, to commemorate the day and celebrate Scottish heritage. The Federal Government of Canada announced in October 2010 that, for the first time, Tartan Day would be recognised nationally from April 6th, 2011.
The Parliament’s budget for all aspects of Scotland Week 2011 has been set at £10,000.