PARIS — The inclusion, gender equality, environment and international trade have been at the heart of the speech delivered Tuesday by the prime minister of canada Justin Trudeau in front of the French national Assembly.
This speech, the first in this forum for a prime minister of Canada in fiscal year, presented an impassioned defense of the virtues shared by the two countries — and a few that were not unanimously in the room.
Cheers the loudest and the most enthusiastic has been reserved in his remarks on climate change, the shared history of Canada and France during the two world wars, and Canada’s efforts to preserve and protect the French culture.
Other topics, such as immigration, diversity and the comprehensive economic and trade Agreement (CETA), which must be ratified by France, have been less popular.
The Agreement “goes far beyond any other trade agreement in the world, with regard to the protection of the rights of the person, the environment and the mobility of citizens, he noted.
“It preserves the right of States to legislate and regulate in the public interest, to implement policies to support their cultural industries, and to protect labour standards and to promote increased cooperation in the field of environment.”
Trade and the environment
On Monday, the Canada and the France have renewed their commitment in the fight against climate change, hoping to maintain the momentum on the global stage after the us president, Donald Trump had announced the withdrawal of his country of the Paris Agreement on climate.
A new partnership France-Canada is the promotion of carbon pricing on a global scale and is also in line with the priorities of the Trudeau government in view of the G7 Summit in Charlevoix in June.
Officials say the government also hopes that the partnership will be to convince the French that Canada is serious in its willingness to act against climate change — and will help the ratification of the new free trade agreement between Canada and the european Union.
Concerns have been raised in France to see articles for the protection of investors in the CETA lead to a weakening of environmental rules.
Mr. Trudeau has listed French companies, which, he said, will benefit from the expansion of their activities and business opportunities in Canada, where the French investments have increased by 23 % last year.
He also repeated one of his replicas favorite : “If France can not ratify a free trade agreement with Canada, with which country do you imagine to be able to do?”
The mention of the Agreement has caused grunts and mutterings on the part of members of the opposition, and in some sections of the Assembly have not applauded, including the leader of the national Front, Marine Le Pen.
Mr. Trudeau has spent a long time on the subject of the presidency of the G7 by Canada, which will be followed by France itself next year. He has promised to focus on topics that will contribute to reverse the low growth, chronic income gap and social inequality.
“It is these inequalities that erode not only the level of middle class life, but also the confidence of the population in respect of world trade, the international cooperation and liberal democracy.”
The fight against populism
The speech Justin Trudeau also addressed the importance of combating the rise of nationalism, populism and xenophobia, which have become major sources of concern in France and in other parts of Europe in recent years.
“Canada has chosen to counter the cynicism by making bold and ambitious”, he noted.
“While many countries define themselves as opposing, the Canada, he says. We do thus declare for the trade progressive, for diversity, for immigration, for the protection of the environment, for gender equality, for the rule of law, for democracy, for equality, for freedom.”
He also applauded the efforts of France to reach parity in government, a comment which earned him a standing ovation on the part of women — as well as a handful of men present at the meeting.
The canadian prime minister has also spent a part of his speech to praise of the French language and culture, a language to which the Canadian “attached to”, he insisted.