G7 2018

Written by  //  May 19, 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.

The G7: Hard Talk or a Sleep-Walk?
By Jeremy Kinsman
If Canada pushes hard, it could blow up. Trump could walk out. Or not show up. However, if Canada goes instead just for a bland chair’s statement, in order to keep him in, it will show the G7 has no added value left. Exhortations to cut back on plastics, save the oceans, and empower women and girls won’t save its global brand for decisive relevance on G7 issues right now if they defer to Donald Trump’s fixations. Hopefully, someone at this meeting—Macron, Merkel—will step up and remind partners that the global economic recession that was the group’s founding raison d’etre has now been succeeded by a global democratic recession, whose reversal should be a challenge these democracies welcome. If they can’t because the biggest member is practising a divisive and unhealthy populist nationalism, the G7 will go the way of Enron and Nortel, and other once-great but mismanaged ventures that sleep-walked into obscurity.
(Policy Magazine June/July issue) The world’s press is coming to cover what they anticipate will be an epic dust-up with President Trump over trade, climate, migration, populist nationalism, and the merits of the liberal international rules-based order. They are asking how the G7 can pretend to global leadership if its leading member is retreating from the world in pursuit of America first, “always America first?”
The Canadian chair, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, hopes to skirt conflict with an agenda of big-canvas hope. Its leitmotif, meant to be the “lens” through which to view everything else, is the Trudeau government’s timely mantra of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Its proclamation is rhetorically uncontested even though the U.S. is slashing funding to abortion-tolerant international health care agencies in ways that will cause real damage to women and girls. Its uncontested reasonableness can’t evade the fact that the agenda’s other four other items are highly divisive:
1. Investing in inclusive growth “that works for everyone,” including “open trade,” which will have to counter evidence that in the G7, inclusivity trends are in the other direction;
2. “Preparing for jobs of the future,” anticipating technological change, which evokes globalization’s export of manufacturing jobs.
3. Climate change and clean growth, bound to challenge the Trump administration’s science-denying isolation.
4. “Building a more peaceful and secure world.” Canada is safely mobilizing the G7 against the exclusion of Rohingyas and the subtraction of democracy in Venezuela, and seeking robust solidarity against Russian misbehaviour. But will the G7 together re-dedicate support for democratic institutions, the rule of law, and social trust at home?
Frank, open, and public disagreement could doom the G7 by exposing its disunity on the most important issues of the day. But the G7 could be equally doomed to irrelevance by an attempt to paper over fundamental differences in favour of loose agreements on hopeful generalities and abhorrence of problems elsewhere, like Myanmar. The G7 is doing what its founders wanted to avoid: institutionalizing itself in ministerial committees and pronouncing on other peoples’ problems rather than knuckling down in candour to confront our own.

13 May
‘We’re in this together’: Canada sherpa confronts potential fractured future of G7 group
Trump’s potential to disrupt the summit — an international meeting in which the prime minister has invested significant political capital — is growing larger by the day
(National Post) Less than a month before Donald Trump sets foot on Canadian soil for the G7, Justin Trudeau’s chief summit organizer is being forced to defend the viability of the G7 itself.
Trump’s potential to disrupt the summit — an international meeting in which the prime minister has invested significant political capital — is growing larger by the day as his June 8 arrival date in La Malbaie, Que., creeps closer.
Trudeau and his fellow summiteers from Britain, France, Germany and the European Union have already expressed their regrets over Trump’s decision this past week to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear agreement.
Trump was already a G7 outlier on trade and climate change. But now there’s growing concern that the group itself could fatally fracture, with the U.S. splintering off. The ambassadors from several G7 countries to Canada were forced to address that recently.

9 May
Iran to be G7 topic after U.S. withdraws from nuclear deal: Trudeau (video)
(Canadian Press via Globe & Mail) The Prime Minister says he ‘regrets’ U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the world’s major powers. Justin Trudeau says Canada is aligned with its other NATO allies.

8 May
La Malbaie transformée en forteresse
Une clôture au coût de 4 millions, une prison bâtie pour l’occasion, des points de contrôle le long de la route… La Malbaie sera transformée en forteresse à l’occasion du G7, les 8 et 9 juin. Sur place, la plupart des résidants s’attendent à un sommet plutôt tranquille à l’ombre du Manoir Richelieu, loin des manifestations à Québec.
L’histoire témoigne de l’état d’esprit de plusieurs Malbéens, qui attendent le G7 avec un mélange de curiosité et de nervosité. D’un côté, la petite ville de 8000 habitants, à deux heures de Québec, a rarement reçu une visite aussi prestigieuse que celle des leaders du G7.
De l’autre, les Malbéens, qui ne sont pas aveugles, ont bien vu ce qui s’était passé au Sommet des Amériques à Québec, ou à Gênes, en Italie, en 2001 pour le G8 : des émeutes, des gaz lacrymogènes et la violence qui vient avec tout cela.
« Les citoyens se posent des questions. Est-ce que la ville va être assiégée ? Est-ce que je dois aller au chalet ? Est-ce que je vais pouvoir me rendre à l’hôpital, à l’épicerie ? La réponse, c’est que ce ne sera pas une ville assiégée. Mais c’est vrai qu’il y a des inconnues, des intangibles. » – Michel Couturier, maire de La Malbaie

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.

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm