Summit of the Americas: Trudeau aims for big finish



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning a big finish for his last day at the Summit of the Americas in California.

Trudeau is speaking this morning at the second leader-level plenary session on the final day of the summit.

Officials say he will remind delegates that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and that small and developing nations still need support.

Trudeau will also meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as the leaders of Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

He’ll also take part in one of the centrepiece events of the summit: presenting the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection.

Trudeau met for an hour Thursday with U.S. President Joe Biden, who agreed to a visit to Canada in the “coming months,” his first since becoming president in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think we both share the same sense that the possibilities for our hemisphere are unlimited,” Biden told Trudeau, calling it the “most democratic hemisphere in the world.”

Trudeau responded by saying it’s “extraordinarily important” for close partners like Canada and the U.S. to be there for each other and for allies around the world.

“The work that we can do on supporting and projecting and sharing our values is a way of actually supporting and impacting citizens around the world,” Trudeau said.

Doing so, he said, helps make the case “that democracy is not just fairer, but it’s also better for citizens, putting food on the table, putting futures in front of them.”

The federal government’s official readout of the meeting mentioned their mutual support of Ukraine in its fight against Russia, and that Trudeau also brought up Canada’s support for NATO and the plan to modernize the continental defence system known as Norad.

Trudeau also “expressed his support” for Biden’s proposed hemispheric “Partnership for Economic Prosperity,” but the readout did not mention whether Canada has been invited to take part.

He also committed to working closely with the U.S. and other partners “to respond to the current humanitarian, protection, and irregular migration challenges in the region.”

The two also discussed supply chains and co-operating on “the potential of developing critical minerals in both countries” and protecting supply chains from “external shocks,” the White House said.

Also Thursday, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and U.S. Environmental Protection Secretary Jared Blumenfeld signed a new framework for climate-change co-operation that included modest expansions on a similar 2019 agreement.

It advances policy and regulatory steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants in both jurisdictions, as well as conservation measures and dealing with the worsening threat of wildfires.

And it will stand the test of time, said California Gov. Gavin Newsom — regardless of who is in power in the California governor’s mansion, the White House or the Prime Minister’s Office.

California is a $3.3-trillion a year economy, Newsom said — the fifth-largest in the world, and a “stable partner” whose efforts to address climate issues and pollution standards have been influencing other states and countries, including Canada, for decades.

“We punch above our weight,” he said, describing the state as a “stable partner” whose regulatory reforms have stood the test of time and the political whims of the electorate.

“We carry a lot of weight as it relates to low-carbon green growth, as it relates to efforts to change the way we produce and consume energy — regardless of who’s in the White House.”

Trudeau said Canada will always find favour with a partner willing to make progress on issues of shared significance.

“Canada has always been a country that engages in the world, and whether it’s engaging with like-minded countries or like-minded states like California, we’re just there to get things done,” Trudeau said.

“When we find alignment on so many things — as we always have with California, but as we specifically have under Gavin Newsom’s administration — we jump on it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2022.  


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