Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has praised the work of Taoiseach Enda Kenny in getting agreement on the new trade deal between Canada and the EU.

He was speaking in Montreal where both leaders addressed a gathering organised by the Montreal International Chamber of Commerce.

Referring to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Mr Trudeau said Mr Kenny's "steadfast support" had helped secure this "progressive agreement" that would create more opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.

Delivering a strongly worded speech on the direction that global politics is taking, and in defence of the European Union, Mr Kenny delivered what could be one of the last major addresses abroad as leader of the Fine Gael party, and as Taoiseach.

Mr Kenny appeared irritated at the Irish media in Canada for asking him when he planned to make an announcement about his departure as leader of Fine Gael.

Mr Kenny had previously indicated he would deal with his future in the wake of last weekend's European Union summit.

When asked when he intended to address the matter, a visibly agitated Taoiseach said: "I can't believe actually that you have travelled this distance to ask a question like that."

In his speech, he warned that the traditional centre role in politics was slipping but that it must "hold and hold with alacrity".

Mr Kenny said that people across the world were "now being pushed to the hard left by anger and to the hard right by fear".

He said people now looked for "certainty and stability in their politicians".

He warned that politics currently was "both deteriorating and degrading of people and democracy".

The Taoiseach said that within Europe, the EU was the "best antidote to toxic nationalism".

He said that people now wanted more from their lives and sometimes politicians needed to strive for "higher things" above "the relentless pursuit of market or share or profit".

He praised Ireland's handling of same-sex marriage, asking "who would have imagined that a small, historically Catholic-dominated conservative country would go from decriminalising homosexuality, to recognising same-sex marriage in the space of a single generation?"

Mr Kenny praised Canada's warm welcome extended to refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and other locations.

He said that Canada and Ireland both had a respect for democracy and the rule of law.

Alluding to the skewing of truth by rhetoric in recent political campaigns in Europe and in the US, the Taoiseach cautioned that "truth and integrity are swamped in the seas of social media comment", adding that "allegation becomes conviction, rumour becomes belief and fake news becomes reality".

He said the "challenge for politics and politicians now was to stand up against that, to be believed and to win trust in a time of extraordinary change and challenge in peoples' lives".

The Taoiseach is attending a number of events in Toronto today organised by Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland.

He will visit also Toronto's Ireland Park, a memorial to the Irish immigrants who came to Canada fleeing the famine in 1847 and meet those working with Irish immigrants in Toronto as well as attending a reception of the wider Irish community, before attending a private small-scale dinner organised by the Ireland Funds, before departing Canada to return to Ireland tomorrow.