G7 summit in Canada great opportunity to advance country’s priorities: Trudeau

G7 summit in Canada great opportunity to advance country’s priorities: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and La Malbaie mayor Michel Couturier, right, walk on the pier in La Malbaie, Quebec on Thursday, June 8, 2017. Trudeau visited the site of the 2018 G7 meeting. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot.

LA MALBAIE, Que. — Hosting the next G7 summit will give Canada the perfect opportunity to promote issues that are important to the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

Trudeau was visiting La Malbaie, the small picturesque town northeast of Quebec City that will be the centre of global attention for a few days when it welcomes international leaders next year.

“In 2018, the eyes of the entire world will be riveted on (the region of) Charlevoix, a magnificent location…that is really ideal for welcoming world leaders,” he told a news conference.

“As host of the G7, Canada will be in a unique position in 2018 to advance our priorities, including gender equality….This topic will be at the top of the agenda next year and I look forward to working with my counterparts to promote gender equality, both at home and abroad.”

Earlier in the day, Trudeau met with Mayor Michel Couturier and local business and tourism representatives to discuss issues related to the summit.

One topic that surfaced was the need to improve telecommunications in an area where cellular telephone reception can often be spotty.

Security, he said, will also be taken very seriously in La Malbaie, which is about 140 kilometres from Quebec City along the St. Lawrence River.

“Obviously, any time we have a gathering of world leaders, security is of course one of the things we need to think about,” Trudeau said. “Security for the people arriving but also security for people who live here.

“There are many discussions to be had still around security, but I can ensure people it will be done responsibly, it will be done respectfully, and it will be done, again, in a way that is very much driven through partnerships with local people.”

The G7 comprises the seven richest economies in the world, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

It will mark the sixth time that Canada has hosted the meetings, including in the Muskoka region of Ontario in 2010, Alberta’s Kananaskis in 2002 and Halifax in 1995.

Trudeau said Charlevoix will benefit economically from hosting the event if the previous G7 summits held in Canada are anything to go by.

The Canadian Press

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