When Canada assumed the G7 presidency this year, we put forward a progressive agenda that reflects our values. At the G7 summit being held in Charlevoix, Quebec, on 8 and 9 June, Canada will guide the world’s advanced economies and leading democracies towards real progress on five key themes – investing in growth that works for everyone; helping people prepare for the jobs of the future; advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment; working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy; and building a more peaceful and secure world. Together, we will work to support economic growth that benefits everyone, strengthen the middle class around the world and leave our citizens with a better, more hopeful future.
We live in a time of great change. While automation, technological breakthroughs and global free trade have delivered prosperity, the benefits have not always been felt equally. As leaders of the G7, we share the responsibility of working together to stimulate economic growth that benefits everyone, and in particular those most at risk of being left behind.
We are determined to grow the middle class, create good jobs and address rising income inequality. We will not accept a future that works for the few. We are at our best, and our economy at its strongest, when everyone has a fair shot at success.
In 2017, Canada led the G7 in economic growth. We will continue to work with our G7 partners so that everyone – in Canada and around the world – can contribute to, and share in, the benefits of an increasingly integrated global economy.
Creating growth that works for everyone starts with removing barriers that hold people back. Today, half of our population and workforce still do not have equal opportunities to men. Making sure women can participate in the economy is not just the right thing to do – it is the smart thing to do. Over the past 40 years, the rising number of women participating in Canada’s workforce has accounted for about a third of our country’s real gross domestic product per capita growth.
Greater equality for greater growth
These numbers speak for themselves: equality leads to growth. That is why Canada has made gender equality and women’s empowerment a central theme of our G7 presidency. We are determined to apply a gender lens to all of our discussions, and make sure everyone’s voices and perspectives – regardless of their gender or identity – are taken into account.
Recognising that girls’ education has a key role to play to resolve global challenges, we will also promote women and girls’ education in crisis and conflict situations. By ensuring girls and women have equal access to quality education and meaningful opportunities for the future, we can grow strong economies that work for everyone.
We are also making sure that our G7 presidency is as open and as transparent as possible. That is why we are engaging international and domestic stakeholders, as well as Canadians from coast to coast to coast, to help us build an agenda that is meaningful and relevant to them.
Over the past few months, Canada has gathered G7 ministers in Montreal, Toronto and Whistler, British Columbia, to tackle some of the most pressing issues we face. We will continue to meet with stakeholders from across the country while connecting with Canadians directly online. Canadians can be confident that their ideas will shape the leaders’ discussions in Charlevoix, and that we are tapping into the best and broadest advice from around the world.
As part of our outreach efforts, we will welcome the leaders of countries outside of the G7 and our multilateral partners to support ambitious joint initiatives. Through our commitment to protecting the world’s oceans, we will work with coastal countries and heads of international organisations to address threats facing our oceans and our coasts. We will focus on working to eliminate ocean plastic pollution. We also know that the economic and environmental health of our coastal communities, as well as our global food supply, is under threat from more frequent and severe weather patterns, from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and from plastics in our oceans. Together, we must find ways to address these threats, adapt to our changing climate and protect our oceans for generations to come.
We face significant challenges as a world today, and none of us can solve these problems alone. As leaders of the G7, we will work together to respond to the complex and evolving global security challenges we face, and build a more peaceful and secure world. We will continue to champion human rights and democratic principles around the globe. Our world is interconnected, and we must work together to create meaningful solutions to the problems we face as a planet.
I look forward to welcoming leaders to beautiful Charlevoix where we will showcase the best Canada has to offer, as we work towards a future that puts people first and delivers progress for everyone.