QUEBEC – The annual G7 meeting remains useful and important because it helps citizens around the world continue to have confidence in the future, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.
There is a lot of anxiety and concern about protectionism and “negative nationalism” around the world, Trudeau said, and the G7 meeting allows the leaders of the world’s seven most advanced economies to discuss these issues.
“In order to counter the rise of protectionism and negative nationalism that we are seeing in certain parts of the world — with authoritarianism and the exclusion of others — we know we have to talk about it,” he said.
“And we have to show that we are helping people have confidence in the future. (The G7 summit) is a chance for us to come together on the issue.”
Trudeau was attending a preparatory meeting in Quebec City two months ahead of the June 8-9 G7 summit in Charlevoix, northeast of the provincial capital.
The G7 consists of Canada, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Italy, with the European Union being a non-enumerated member.
A collective of “social groups” opposed to the vision and goals of the G7 was planning a protest Thursday afternoon in Quebec City.
“This will be an occasion for social groups to publicly protest against this anti-democratic and neo-liberal meeting,” said a statement on the collective’s Facebook page.
Past G7 get-togethers — as well as similar meetings of wealthy countries — have attracted throngs of protests, which sometimes turn violent.
Trudeau suggested the federal government would pick up the tab for the costs of any damage associated with protests.
“The discussions are ongoing on this issue,” he said.
“We recognize that the G7 is a federal responsibility and the costs associated with the G7. We understand it’s a big responsibility for the federal government and we will continue to work with out partners like the city, like the province.”