A Sustainable Site for Canada's G7 Summit in 2018
Annie Beaulieu, G7 Research Group
May 27, 2017
Even before Italy's Taormina 2017 summit started, people were wondering what location Canada would choose for its 2018 G7 summit, and why. Early indications were that it would be in the Charlevoix region in Quebec — a rumour confirmed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at his press conference from Taormina.
Quebec makes sense because it has been left out as a summit site ever since Pierre-Elliott Trudeau held Canada's first G7 summit in 1981 in Montebello, in the world's largest log cabin. Some sessions of that summit were also held in Canada's capital Ottawa for logistical reasons.
What no one asked, however, was whether Montebello would showcase and strengthen Canada's global contribution as a pioneer in sustainable socioeconomic development. Would the choice of the 2018 summit site by Pierre-Elliott Trudeau's son do so, especially now when the world's most compelling problem is to control climate change?
The Charlevoix region and its rolling Laurentian Mountains of the Canadian Shield are located 125 kilometres north east from Quebec City, just over an hour and a half's drive, and about the same distance south of Bagotville's Canadian Air Force base. This facility allows Canada to provide a secure event for the leaders of the seven most powerful democracies and the European Union.
The Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve, designated by UNESCO in 1989, borders the Saint Lawrence River to the north, where beluga and blue whales regularly enjoy the waters to the delight of the local citizens and tourists coming from all over the world.
Similar to Taormina, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, Charlevoix was the first resort area in Canada where local nobility hosted visitors at their manors. Many notable people have made this region their summer home, including American president William Howard Taft. With several golf courses, luxury hotels such as Le Manoir Richelieu and wide roads to accommodate armoured cars, U.S. president Donald Trump is likely also to feel secure at home.
Next year, Justin Trudeau's 2018 Charlevoix Summit will ensure that the G7 and the region work not only for the wealthy, but also for the middle class in Canada, and those working to join it in Canad, and all around the world.
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