U2 frontman Bono will meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the leaders of the NDP and Liberal opposition parties in Ottawa on Monday to discuss maternal and child health in low-income countries.
The meetings were initiated by the One Campaign, the global anti-poverty organization that Bono co-founded. Stuart Hickox, the campaign's Canadian director, said the visit to Ottawa was arranged to coincide with Bono's performances in Montreal.
"Bono's on tour, as you know, so he's nearby in Montreal," Mr. Hickox said. "It's just an opportunity to strengthen relationships with all parliamentarians and to visit Ottawa in between Montreal tour dates. "
A spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office confirmed that Mr. Harper would participate in a private meeting with Bono on Monday afternoon. Mr. Hickox said Bono would also hold separate meetings with NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
The rock star and philanthropist could also attend Question Period on Parliament Hill Monday afternoon, Mr. Hickox said, but added that part of his schedule is still unconfirmed.
Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, frequently uses his celebrity status to draw attention to global poverty and disease. He co-founded the One Campaign in 2004 and pressed world leaders participating in the 2005 Group of Eight summit in Scotland to focus on fighting poverty in Africa.
Discussions with all three Canadian political leaders are expected to focus on preventing the deaths of mothers and children in poor countries, Mr. Hickox said.
"We've had a lot of interest in the last little while," Mr. Hickox said on Friday. "We're excited, and it's a private, low-key meeting. It should be great."
The Conservative government has put the health of mothers and children at the centre of Canada's international development agenda in recent years. Mr. Harper hosted a summit on the topic in Toronto last year and has received praise for his efforts from the heads of the World Bank and World Health Organization.
At the same time, however, Mr. Harper has faced criticism for Canada's overall spending on foreign aid. Last year, Canada spent 0.24 per cent of its gross national income on official development assistance, well below the global goal of 0.7 per cent.
Bono held meetings with former prime minister Paul Martin to discuss Canada's contribution to low-income countries, but his relationship with Mr. Harper has not always been smooth. In 2007, Mr. Harper declined to meet when the rock star requested an audience to discuss aid to Africa.
Bono later accused the Mr. Harper of attempting to water down a G8 deal to boost wealthy countries' assistance to the continent. Mr. Harper denied that accusation, saying Canada had not blocked anything and would meet its commitment to increasing aid to Africa.