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Joint Ministerial Council Project | Ottawa and Paris are getting closer

(OTTAWA) The plan to gather members of the government of Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron in Paris, which has been put on hold due to the pandemic, should come true this summer: France has offered Canada a date for a summit meeting in the City of Light. , according to our information.

What you should know

  • The long-standing plan to organize a joint cabinet between the governments of France and Canada should be realized this summer.
  • The French ambassador to Ottawa, Michel Mirayer, is convinced that the two countries have much to gain from closer relations.
  • The Conservatives, who have criticized Justin Trudeau and his ministers for their trips abroad, have doubts about the relevance of the exercise.

On the list: energy, economy, technology, Russia. The list, it should be noted, has evolved over time.

Because when the French Canadian government’s plan was in its infancy, the elephant in the room should have been Donald Trump, not Vladimir Putin. It was he, and his influence on the rest of the world, that Tradeau-Macron sought to balance by joining forces, revealed the French ambassador in Ottawa, Michel Miraillet.

The idea was to try to find, at a time when we were concerned about the re-election of a certain American president, how to proceed, under the two heads of state and government. “There was a desire to rebuild something,” he explained in an interview last February.

If the situation changes, perhaps the need to rebuild will be even more important, post-pandemic, and as Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine continues.

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“There is a topic very dear to President Macron: the international financial environment, with the repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis,” the mission chief noted.

Because it is necessary to “restore the financial system with major financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to try to find a way to finance the African economies or the major countries in the south that do not necessarily accompany us in our condemnation of the Russian position.”

Trudeau’s government declined to say whether the embassy’s proposed date has been accepted, or even whether a joint cabinet could be held over the summer in Paris. It was also not possible to obtain details from the Canadian Embassy in Paris, where former Minister Stéphane Dion officially settled last October.

“We have a real partnership with Ambassador Stéphane Dion,” said Mr Miraillet, more chatty.

“all the files are there”

Emmanuel Macron’s envoy to Canada, who for his part presented his credentials to Governor-General Marie Simon last September, drifts by listing the potential fruits of the convergence: artificial intelligence and quantum computing, research, higher education, culture, energy and critical minerals. .

Summed up “all the files are there”.

We also have core economic interests, whether in markets, the promotion of the Mirabel-built Airbus A200, green hydrogen – it’s also a way to go beyond the battery stage – but also batteries, the important minerals.

Michel Mirayer, Ambassador of France to Canada

This will be the first time that Justin Trudeau’s government has organized a joint cabinet. On the national scene, the Liberal governments of Jean Charest and Philippe Couillard had lent themselves to exercises with governments led by leaders of similar loyalty in Ontario, namely Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynn.

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Skeptical conservatives

Without commenting directly on the importance of such a meeting, Conservative Pierre-Paul Hues wonders: “If the prime minister is preparing to take his cabinet on a trip to France, he must say so. Above all, you must explain the reasons for the trip. Canadians have a right to know.” And what do you have to hide?

These days, in the House of Commons, the Tories are scolding the Liberals for going abroad. Seeing the “breakup” of Canadians struggling to make ends meet, they mocked Justin Trudeau, as well as Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, for their participation in the G7 in Japan.

“The Conservatives are trying to insinuate that there is something elitist, something that runs counter to ordinary Canadians, in the fact that Canada’s leaders are attending G7 meetings,” Pierre replied last Wednesday. Poilievre, who is also Deputy Prime Minister.

He said, “I would like to ask Canadians if they think it is abnormal for a prime minister to go to a meeting with the president of the United States, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and the prime minister of Japan.” restricted.

Justin Trudeau’s trips abroad, whether personal or professional, have often left him embarrassed. One of the most recent examples is a $6,000 bill for his overnight stay in a suite in London, where he will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in March 2022.