G7 2018

Written by  //  March 28, 2018  //  Canada, Geopolitics  //  No comments

Canada’s 2018 G7 Presidency
‘Beautiful nightmare’ awaits Quebec town hosting next G7
Security challenges formidable for La Malbaie, says retired SQ officer

Charlevoix and the 2018 G7 Summit
Canada is proud to be hosting G7 Leaders in the beautiful Charlevoix region from June 8-9, 2018. Quebec’s Charlevoix region symbolizes some of the best that Canada has to offer, from its stunning natural beauty, energetic business environment, and the generous hospitality of its people.
History of Charlevoix
As early as the 1800s, La Malbaie’s inhabitants welcomed excursionists coming to enjoy the region’s hospitality, the sun and the river’s salted water.
One of the renowned excursionists, US President William Howard Taft (1909-1913) said that the air of La Malbaie’s Murray Bay was “intoxicating like champagne without the next day’s hangover”.
The G7 Summit is an opportunity to ensure that the historical presence of four Indigenous communities on the La Malbaie territory is respected. The Innu from the Innue Essipit First Nation (Essipit), the Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation (Mashteuiatsh) and the Pessamit Innue First Nation (Betsiamites), as well as the Huron from the Huron-Wendat Nation (Wendake), have lived on this territory for generations.

28 March
G7 Countdown: How civil society groups hope to get through to leaders
Do grassroots concerns ever catch the ear of G7 members, in particular that of the host country? With meetings already underway ahead of the Quebec summit, Celine Cooper looks at the behind-the-scenes efforts to influence the group’s agenda.
By Céline Cooper
(Open Canada) While much of the world’s attention will be focused on the summit itself, the hard work happens early, largely away from the public eye. Meetings in advance of the Canadian summit have been taking place now for a few months — the first of four ministerial meetings is being held this week in Montreal.
As they do with each host, civil society groups hoping to influence the G7 agenda are now looking to Canada to set the tone and establish spaces for their inclusion and participation. This influence is critical in bringing leaders of the most powerful and prosperous governments closer to the grassroots and various parts of global society, and in advocating for meaningful commitments to be made at the leaders’ summit.
But how does this actually happen? How might Canada’s brokering of the relationship with civil society shape the 2018 G7 commitments and outcomes? What kind of priorities, challenges and opportunities are at play for civil society groups in Canada already working behind the scenes on the road to Charlevoix?

6-7 March
G7 Personal Representatives of Prime Ministers and Presidents Meet at Pearson College UWC
(Pearson College President’s Update) We were honoured that Pearson College UWC students had many opportunities to interact with the personal representatives (known as ‘Sherpas’ in their vernacular) to G7 leaders during their recent (6-7 March) on-campus meeting. No other pre-university school in Canada – or anywhere else that we are aware of – has had the unparalleled opportunity of directly sharing the concerns of young people from across the globe with these influential officials.
Canada assumed the presidency of the G7 at the beginning of this year and will host the Leaders’ Summit of prime ministers and presidents (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, United States, United Kingdom, European Union) in Charlevoix, Québec in June.  We are grateful to Deputy Minister for the G7 Summit and Personal Representative of the Prime Minister of Canada Peter M. Boehm for bringing this meeting to campus and for encouraging his peers from the G7 nations and European Union to listen to, speak with and interact with Pearson students. I am proud that our students took every opportunity to engage with the G7 representatives and that an open and sometimes challenging dialogue was intentionally and honestly brought forward.
Mr. Boehm led a community presentation and dialogue with Pearson College Students on 6 March. The range and caliber of our students’ questions and comments reflected, as always, the diversity and integrity of our student body – leading him to pronounce this “engagement session” as better than any university group with whom he has met since assuming his role.
As Mr. Boehm put it, “We were quite awestruck – and I talked to my colleagues about this — by the level of preparation that the students took in terms of addressing their questions to us. The themes, the angles (of questioning) and the opinions they expressed are obviously going to be reflected in our further discussions. The students’ questions and our discussions with them brought a lot more clarity to our deliberations and, frankly, we came out of this quite energized.”
Our students had a number of other formal and informal opportunities to engage with the delegations. including a session on 7 March when students from G7 countries met with their respective national delegations.
One of the themes of the 2018 G7 is “working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy.” As part of the 8 March Oceans Roundtable discussion, Marine Sciences Teacher Laura Verhegge was invited to deliver a presentation as a member of an expert panel. With her second-year class looking on, Laura made an impact using visual aides including plastics refuse gathered by Pearson students from ocean waters close to our own Pedder Bay.
Hosting a high-level, on-campus meeting like this was a reminder of the recognition and respect accorded to the students and alumni of Pearson College UWC who are working to fulfill the United World College mission around the world. It was also an important opportunity for some healthy discussions, debates and even disagreements within the Pearson community itself. I was pleased to host two post-G7 listening sessions during which several members of the community shared their thoughts and concerns about the realities of how the “culture” of this type of diplomat-level international organization meeting this differs from our own more informal campus atmosphere. Discussions also touched upon opportunities for even greater student interaction in any future on-campus meetings of this nature as well the appropriateness of the term “Sherpa” in the G7 context.

1 January
Canada is proud to hold the G7 Presidency from January 1 to December 31, 2018, and will use this opportunity to showcase both its domestic and international priorities. As the G7 president, Canada is responsible for hosting and organizing the G7 Summit that will take place in Charlevoix from June 8-9, 2018.

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