Jun 14, 2021
Justin Trudeau G7 Summit Speech Transcript 2021
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participated in the 2021 G7 Summit on June 13, 2021. Read the transcript of his speech here.
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Justin Trudeau: (02:38)
I want to begin by thanking Prime Minister Johnson for his warm welcome and congratulate him on a successful summit. The G7 represents not only many of Canada’s strongest allies, but our closest friends. And as our world faces the task of rebuilding from this once-in-a-century crisis, I cannot think of a better moment to meet. In the last three days I’ve had the chance to meet with all the leaders of the G7, which includes President Biden with whom I talked about coordinating measures at our borders as both of our countries move ahead with mass vaccination. We also touched on global issues, bilateral issues, such as jobs, climate change, and trade. I also sat down with Chancellor Merkel in her last G7 to discuss how we can continue to work together on shared priorities, whether that’s beating COVID-19 or fighting climate change.
Justin Trudeau: (03:36)
Justin Trudeau: (04:37)
However, to truly beat COVID 19 anywhere, we have to beat it everywhere. That’s something we’ve understood right from the start of this pandemic. That’s why Canada has to date contributed two and a half billion dollars to help address this crisis globally. We are one of only four countries that has already paid our fair share to the ACT Accelerator, which supports global access to vaccines tests and treatments. But this pandemic isn’t over yet, so through the G7, we’re stepping up once again. Today, the G7 announced that our collective commitments will result in over two billion doses being shared with the rest of the world. Canada’s portion is 100 million doses.
Justin Trudeau: (05:25)
To break that down, Canada’s funding to the ACT Accelerator is helping 87 million doses be provided to developing countries. In addition, we’re donating 13 million doses procured by Canada to other countries through COVAX. We will also have more to say in the coming weeks as our vaccine procurement process identifies even more doses that can be shared with the world. At the end of the day what’s important isn’t how we get doses out to people, what matters is that each vaccine keeps someone safe. Someone’s grandmother, father or daughter. That’s what counts. And to Canadians, I want to be clear. This global commitment on vaccines is in addition to and in parallel with our vaccine rollout at home. We have millions of doses being delivered into the country each week and every day more and more people get their first and second shots.
Justin Trudeau: (06:29)
Over the course of this year’s summit, we also had the chance to move the dial on another key challenge for our shared future climate change. G7 countries represent some of the world’s leading economies. Real progress means real action from everyone in this group. As Canadians that’s something we take to heart there.
Justin Trudeau: (06:50)
Justin Trudeau: (06:50)
For our part, Canada will continue to step up. Canada will double our climate finance commitment to $5.3 billion over the next five years, helping communities around the world fight and adapt to climate change. We’re also making sure more of those funds tackle biodiversity loss and adaptation, and that more money stays in communities by expanding direct grants. Canada has consistently led on climate action and we’re doubling down on our commitment to clean air, middle-class jobs and a sustainable future.
Justin Trudeau: (09:13)
As leaders of the G7, we not only have the responsibility to ensure our own citizens are safe and have good jobs and a bright future, we have the power to help make this a reality for people around the world. No matter where she lives, every girl should be able to pick up a backpack and go to school. Every woman should have the tools to lift herself and her community up.
Justin Trudeau: (09:39)
Justin Trudeau: (09:39)
When we stand United through institutions like the G7, we send the message that the world’s democracies will work together to meet the challenges we face and defend the values we hold dear. Together, we must continue to strengthen respect for international law and defend people who face persecution and suffering abroad.
Justin Trudeau: (10:50)
I want to thank all of our partners who have supported Canada in condemning the arbitrary detention of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig and joined us in calling for their immediate release, as well as reaffirming the G7-
Justin Trudeau: (11:03)
And further immediate release, as well as reaffirming the G7’s shared commitment to our initiative, condemning arbitrary detentions around the world. At this meeting, Canada led the way on a common approach to addressing the challenges posed by China. As partners, we must stand strong and united. And at this weekend’s summit, we agreed to the action needed to do just that. [foreign language 00:11:29]
Stephanie Taylor: (11:44)
Mr. Stephanie Taylor, with the Canadian press. I’m wondering if you can clarify for me where these 13 million doses are coming from and when will you be donating them?
Justin Trudeau: (11:56)
Canada has long recognized that even as we move forward on vaccinating Canadians, in order to keep everyone including Canadians safe, we need to do our part to make sure everyone around the world is vaccinated as well. That’s why we’ve committed a hundred million doses to the vaccine-sharing initiative that was announced today at the G7. Of that, many of those doses flow through the ACT Accelerator investment that we made in the beginning. And I’ll point out that Canada and Germany are two of the only four countries to have met and even exceeded our commitments to the ACT Accelerator as well as a number of doses that we have purchased in Canada, that we are directing through Kovacs to be distributed around the world.
Justin Trudeau: (12:44)
But it’s important to remember that just giving vaccines to the world on their own isn’t quite enough. We need medical systems. We need refrigeration systems. We need abilities to get those into arms around the world. And that’s the role that the ACT Accelerator plays and where Canada has seen importance, not just in donating doses, but in also supporting the health systems. [foreign language 00:13:10]
Stephanie Taylor: (13:09)
Thank you, but that didn’t answer the question. What month and what year will you be donating these 13 million doses in surplus?
Justin Trudeau: (14:29)
A number of these doses are on their way as we speak. More will come in the coming months. And as I pointed out, there will be… Because we know Canada was very successful in negotiating vaccine contracts, even more doses that were destined for Canada that we’re going to be able to share around the world as we see Canadians getting vaccinated to higher and higher levels, and we simply do not need those doses. [foreign language 00:15:06]
Murray Brewster: (15:15)
Good afternoon, Prime Minister. Murray Brewster with CBC News. The World Health Organization said yesterday that it needs 100 million doses right now. It needs 11 billion doses by the time we get to next year at this time. Is not the G7 commitment and Canada’s commitment falling short of that appeal?
Justin Trudeau: (15:52)
The ability that we have to announce two billion doses today is a beginning. We know how much more there is to do, and as G7, we will continue to work to ensure that people get vaccinated around the world as quickly as possible. But those two billion doses, including a hundred million doses from Canada, are going to make a real difference right now.
Murray Brewster: (16:15)
The United States, the UK, and Germany are all moving ahead with some form of improved pandemic early warning system. What precisely is Canada going to do to improve its early warning pandemic system?
Justin Trudeau: (16:28)
There are many things that Canada has been reviewing and working on, and we will continue to work to make sure that Canadians are protected from any future pandemic. We’ve certainly… All of us learned lessons through this pandemic, and that was why the exciting presentation we had earlier today or yesterday on the 100-day plan to ensure that we can actually move quickly in any future pandemic, right around the world in a coordinated, concerted way to respond to the very real threat that we now fully understand that pandemics pose to our economies, to our citizens, and to our world.
Abigail Bimman: (17:09)
Hi Prime Minister. Abigail Bimman, Global News. On a domestic issue, the head of the Navy and the second in command of the military, who also oversees military police, went golfing with General Jonathan Vance last week. General Vance, also under a military police investigation. Should these two men keep their jobs? And what message does this send to victims of military misconduct? What confidence can they have that they’ll get due process in their cases?
Justin Trudeau: (17:36)
Obviously, the two men in question need to answer those questions for themselves, but I know that the Minister of Defense is following up with the acting chief of staff on this issue.
Abigail Bimman: (17:47)
Prime minister, on China, you talk about action as specific action that will be taken. The communique was not specific on China. What can you tell us about action that Canada and that the G7 will take with China?
Justin Trudeau: (17:58)
Well, I think one of the things we’ve seen over the past many months and even years is all of us have responded in various ways to issues that have arisen regarding China. What we really came together clearly to say and to put forward today was a need to speak with one voice, a need to coordinate much more closely our working together and our focus on demonstrating that our approach of a rules-based system, our alignment on values, our promotion of the kinds of standards and opportunities for people around the world that we have always stood for is better aligned.
Justin Trudeau: (18:41)
A concrete example is the work that we’re going to be doing on infrastructure investments in the developing world, whether it’s Canadian pension funds or equity capital around the world, there is tremendous expertise that working together, we’re going to be able to unlock, to create growth opportunities and greater potential fulfilling for people around the world. These are the kinds of things that was very clear is the approach that G7 is going to take.
Paul Welty: (19:16)
Hi Prime Minister. Paul Welty from the Globe and Mail. You had an impassioned speech, I think, from the South African President today, you’ve heard from Joe Biden, you’ve heard from President Macron of France, all supporting a waiver of intellectual property rights for vaccine development. Why won’t Canada join that effort?
Justin Trudeau: (19:33)
Canada continues to be extremely active at the WTO in ensuring that we get more vaccines out to people, not just delivering them, but allowing them to be developed in places around the world. There is a lot of hard work being done on a consensus on that, and Canada is very much part of that.
Paul Welty: (19:53)
Do you support waiving IP rights?
Justin Trudeau: (19:56)
We are looking at every possible way to ensure that everyone gets vaccinated as quickly as possible. [foreign language 00:20:13]
Glen McGregor: (20:17)
Glen McGregor, CTV News. Prime Minister, when you raised the issue of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor with the leaders, did you get any specific commitments on anything they’re going to do to expedite their release other than just denouncing their detention? And particularly from President Biden when you spoke with him?
Justin Trudeau: (20:34)
The first thing that was a very clear consensus around the table, and indeed with all the leaders in bilateral conversations, is that what has happened to the two Michaels should not have happened and indeed could happen in any country around the world. The use of arbitrary detention and coercive diplomacy by China is of concern to all of us. That is why the G7 reaffirmed its commitment to our arbitrary detention initiative, not just aimed at China, but at countries around the world who are using detention of citizens for political purposes. While at the same time, continuing to impress upon the Chinese leadership that this approach is not just harming their standing in the global economy, but is also harming their own interests. It is counterproductive for China to be engaging in this, and that is something that we are all speaking with one voice on. [foreign language 00:21:44]
Justin Trudeau: (22:17)
Speaker 2: (22:24)
You also spoke to the President Biden above the Canada/US border. You and he seemed to have two different views on how and when this should start to reopen. Was there any agreement here in Cornwall about how that’s going to happen? A specific timeline, a plan for doing that?
Justin Trudeau: (22:39)
We have been having close engagements with the American administration, with border officials, between ministers and members of the administration back since the very beginning of this pandemic. Obviously, with the longest undefended border in the world between our two countries, it is extremely important to get back to normalcy as quickly as possible.
Justin Trudeau: (23:01)
But the work we did from the very beginning ensured that the nearly $2 billion in trade that crosses that border daily has continued to cross even during the worst moments of this pandemic in our respective countries. We will continue to work closely together on moving forward in the right way, but each of us always will put at the forefront the interests and the safety of our own citizens. [French 00:23:30].
Evan Dodder: (23:30)
Evan [Dodder 00:24:14] , CBC News. You’ve talked about the need to act in concert with other nations with respect to China, and China’s unacceptable behavior as you described it. Do you now consider yourself to be part of a new alliance here or at least a stronger alliance to counter China’s rise? And is the goal that as long as China is an authoritarian, one-party state, that it not become the world’s top power? Is that your goal?
Justin Trudeau: (24:38)
No, the goal of the G7 has always been the success not just of our countries and our economies but the success of the global economy. And we understand that a rules-based order, an international trading system based on international law, on the principles and values that allow for our citizens to flourish is something we will continue to stand up for. And, quite frankly, something the G7 has always stood for.
Justin Trudeau: (25:11)
It has been outstanding to see such togetherness and alignment on these issues over these past few days, which certainly represents a new moment for the G7. But certainly the way we’ve been able to come together and align ourselves not just on one issue or one relationship, but on a whole realm of relationships is boding very well for the future not just of our economies, but of the world.
Evan Dodder: (25:43)
Just to see if I understood you correctly. So you wouldn’t necessarily object to China becoming the dominant power in the world while it’s still an authoritarian, one-party state.
Justin Trudeau: (25:52)
I’m not going to decode layers of hypotheticals in there. I think it’s important that we be promoting the rules- based system, the agreed-to international law, and the opportunity for everyone around the world to fulfill their potential. And we’ve seen that the model that is highlighted here at the G7 has been incredibly effective in creating prosperity, in creating opportunity, in creating advancement for people around the world. And we will continue to demonstrate that, as we work together even closer than we ever have before, that resonates around the world.
Kait Bolongaro: (26:31)
Hi, Prime Minister. This is Kait Bolongaro from Bloomberg. I have a question regarding the border and vaccine certificates and vaccine passports. Is this something that G7 leaders were discussing, but there was nothing about this in the communique. So I was wondering if you could provide a little bit more information about a system that’s going to be put in place so that people can get back to normal life while this pandemic is ending.
Justin Trudeau: (26:51)
I think the priority for all countries remains getting through this pandemic, and many countries like Canada continue to say that now is not the time to travel except for essential purposes. We need to ensure that people are getting vaccinated, getting their first dose, getting their second dose, and that is our priority.
Justin Trudeau: (27:11)
However, we know full well that once people get fully vaccinated, once restrictions are starting to ease in our country, we will have people wanting to travel around the world. And that is certainly something we’re looking at to ensure that whatever documentations, whatever processes Canada puts in place, they’re able to align with our friends, allies and, indeed, partners around the world. And we will continue to work together on that.
Kait Bolongaro: (27:40)
What would be your preferred system in that sort of a place? Because we know Biden has come out against a vaccine passports. However, the EU already has that sort of a system in place. So Canada obviously is going to be looking at some sort of a dual system to be able to accommodate different views. I’m wondering, for you, what is the best approach in your opinion?
Justin Trudeau: (27:59)
The best approach will be one that respects people’s privacy, that demonstrates an ability to travel to places all around the world in different systems, and that is reliable and easy. And make sure that it’s treating everyone fairly. These are the kinds of principles that we’re putting at the core of any discussions around international travel and vaccinations.
Speaker 3: (28:22)
Justin Trudeau: (28:24)
Okay. [French 00:28:24].
Speaker 3: (29:00)
Justin Trudeau: (29:22)
Speaker 3: (29:53)
Justin Trudeau: (30:05)
[French 00:30:05]. I think in our conversations, we recognize that there are issues in which we will have to engage with China. Climate change being a perfect example. We cannot keep the world to less than one and a half degrees of warming unless China is part of the conversation and, indeed, the solution but in many other areas, on the economy, on trade, we will find ourselves in a competitive position with China. We will compete with them. And still in a third area, there will be a need to contest China, particularly in the matters of human rights. And that’s where all of us as a G7 and partners are aligned in ensuring that we are consistent and united in our approach on these issues.
Steve Cedric: (31:46)
Prime minister, Steve Cedric from CNBC. You’ve been an interesting observer of the distraction that’s been Brexit, the growing row over the Northern Ireland protocol between the EU partners here and Great Britain, and the host here, Boris Johnson, as well. You raised the issue, we understand, with the UK Prime Minister as well. A, how much of a distraction has it been to this meeting, to the coherence of this meeting as well? And, B, do you see a roadmap out of this problem?
Justin Trudeau: (32:11)
First of all, it’s not something that came up in our discussions around the table. I know there were probably some bilateral conversations. From my perspective, I reminded Boris that Canada was an integral part of the negotiation of the Good Friday Agreements many decades ago, and we are committed to trying to see a path forward that works in the spirit and substance of those accords.
Steve Cedric: (32:36)
And on a completely different issue if I may, COP26 coming up as well. The oil sands, tar sands producers, they’ve got a plan for net zero by 2050. Is that good enough? A lot of it is based on technology, which is as of yet unproven on a mass scale and sequestration as well. Do you, sir, does Canada need to be more ambitious?
Justin Trudeau: (32:54)
Canada has put in place one of the strongest broad-based prices on pollution in the world. We know that putting a price on pollution is one of the-
Justin Trudeau: (33:03)
We know that putting a price on pollution is one of the strongest ways, not just to move forward on fighting climate change, but to incentivize business to make investments that decarbonize the workings of our economy. We also, at the same time, know that transforming our energy mix is going to be extremely important. That’s why the energy expertise by workers across this country are going to be put forward in initiatives like a recent agreement we signed on hydrogen, for example, on investing in critical minerals, which will be essential for zero-emission vehicles of the future. And when we talk about critical minerals, we know that China is right now a strong provider to the world of critical minerals, but Canada is a place where we have strong and stable supplies of that as well that could be of use and a reliable supply chain to the world.
Justin Trudeau: (33:56)
There are many, many conversations we’ll have about strengthening our environment and creating good jobs in the future and that involves being ambitious as we have been in setting, not just ambitious targets for 2030, but showing a very clear plan on how we’re going to reach those targets, as well as being deeply committed to net-zero by 2050, which is something we’re actually working very hard to pass in the House of Commons in Canada right now. Hopefully we will see the necessary progressive parties come together to support that net-zero legislation so Canada can continue to demonstrate real leadership on fighting climate change.
Nick Robinson: (34:39)
Nick Robinson, BBC. Prime Minister at a summit, which was meant to demonstrate the value of democracies working together, how damaging is that war of words between the UK and the EU and are you suggesting that Canada may have a role to play in solving it?
Justin Trudeau: (34:57)
First of all, around the table, what we saw was unprecedented alignment on all the big issues, whether it’s fighting COVID and preventing future pandemics, whether it’s fighting climate change and growing our economies at the same time or standing up for the democratic values that we know have been so beneficial to billions of people around the world. These are the things on which we are absolutely aligned. Now, there will always be bilateral issues and issues of concern that are meaningful that we work out and work through it. Summits like these, that’s part of what these summits are all about. And as I said, Canada had a role to play in the signing of the Good Friday Accords decades ago and are always willing to be helpful in any way that is relevant.
Nick Robinson: (35:52)
Do you think Canada could play a direct role though when you talk about it being relevant? And if I may, the G7 in Cornwall risks being forgotten in the way that most G7 summits are forgotten. Beyond the beach and the barbecue and the Royal Banquet, what do you think the world ought to remember from this summit that will make a real difference?
Justin Trudeau: (36:12)
I can’t help but think back to our G7 Summit in Charleroi that was made famous from a Tweet from an airplane, but what actually resulted in that G7 in Charleroi was a commitment that saw millions, if not actually billions of dollars flowing to girls’ education around the world, investments that have made a real and tangible difference in the lives of thousands, upon thousands of women and girls in countries around the world. We move forward on an ocean’s charter to fight plastics in the oceans that have actually had real impacts. We’ve moved forward on many partnerships that, no, didn’t make the headlines the next day, but has been part of a steady working effort by G7 members to have a positive impact on the world.
Justin Trudeau: (37:11)
I don’t know what you will all be writing about tomorrow, but I can tell you the work we got done here today at a time where the G7 is more United than ever before, more focused on the responsibility we wield collectively as some of the world’s leading economies, not just to our own citizens, but to citizens around the world, during a time of dueling crises, of the pandemic and climate change, the impacts of this will G7 be felt long after the newspapers you write for will have been used to wrap fish.
Speaker 4: (37:50)
Justin Trudeau: (37:51)
[foreign language 00:37:51] Maybe I won’t do the newspapers and fish thing, I might get in trouble for that because we respect the freedom of the press and the independence and the work that you all do in a very important way. [foreign language 00:38:05]. Now, where’s that spider? There he is. [foreign language 00:39:57]