PM Trudeau delivers remarks at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in the Philippines
Good afternoon. Good evening. What a pleasure it has been to attend the APEC Summit here in the Philippines. I’d like to start first by thanking President Aquino and all of our gracious hosts for putting together an extraordinary series of meetings. Obviously with less than a week passed since Paris, many of our thoughts continue to go out towards our friends in France, condemning the attacks obviously, but also reminding everyone that the world stands together in the fight against terrorism, and Canada is resolute to do its part.
The discussions were largely of course on the economy and trade, bringing up such a range of topics as: how to create inclusive growth, how to ensure that the success that we need to build within countries and across countries are properly shared, and ensuring as well that there is greater investment in the kinds of infrastructure and support to create more growth. I was very pleased with these topics because, as the Canadians in the room will know, they were themes that came up regularly during the election campaign, and I was glad to talk about the platform we got elected on in Canada which is focused on investing in ways that will create growth for the middle class, investing in our future, lowering taxes for the middle-class while raising them on the wealthiest 1%, and understanding that the goal of a modern economy is really to give a real and fair chance to everyone to succeed.
And as part of the discussions on inclusivity, a number of countries were bringing up how important it was to include women in the workforce and look towards parity. Although when people highlighted what an important symbol it was that I put forward a cabinet that features gender parity, I highlighted that it wasn’t about a symbol, it was very much about being able to showcase the extraordinary decisions and the extraordinary quality of governance that we’re going to get from a cabinet that is a true reflection of Canada’s diversity, including gender parity.
And with that, I’d like to highlight the presence of two dear friends who have done an extraordinary job here at APEC: my Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stephane Dion, and the Minister for International Trade, Chrystia Freeland. Both of you stand up please and we’ll showcase parity.
On top of that, one of the conversations that was a long-running conversation through both the G20 a few days ago in Turkey and here through APEC, was the preparation for the Paris COP 21 conference. Climate change is an urgent and pressing reality that we need to address as a world, and I was glad to highlight that not only is Canada here to do its part, but our part includes putting pressure and encouraging other countries to step up in their commitments so we can ensure that the outcome of Paris is as ambitious and as optimistic as we need it to be. And that’s certainly a conversation that I’m going to continue to have next week at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting where Canada will continue to play a role in pushing hard to ensure that ambitious action is taken by individual countries and by the global community.
It is a pleasure for me to be here in the Philippines for this APEC conference. First, I would like to thank our hosts and in particular President Aquino, who has organized an extremely productive and enjoyable meeting. Less than a week since the attacks in Paris, there has been much discussion and reflection on terrorism. But it continues to be an opportunity for us, as an international community, including the heads of state of Muslim countries, to condemn terrorist attacks and extremism while strengthening our desire to be united as a planet in our approach and our efforts against ISIL.
Clearly, the economy is a key topic of discussion in APEC’s conversations with international trade. However, the more specific issues we discussed were really on how to create inclusive growth, how to give more opportunities for everyone to participate in the success of our countries and our international community. And I was very happy to see that the conversations that we had here were in large part a reflection of the concerns and conversations that we had during Canada’s election campaign. I highlighted the need to invest in helping the middle class grow and lowering taxes for those who need a little help while increasing them for the 1% who are the most affluent. But also, by creating more opportunities, so that everybody has a real chance of success. What was discussed often was the need to include more opportunities for women and to strive for pay equity for women. And on this subject, several leaders have highlighted my commitment and the action I took to have a cabinet of ministers that are 50/50 men and women. And I highlighted, in response, that it was not simply a symbol of having parity but it was also to be able to show to what extent the solutions and quality of governance put forward by such a Cabinet, which is a reflection of Canada, is a good thing for us and certainly a good thing to show the world. In this respect, I was very happy to have been accompanied to these conferences here in APEC by my Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion, and our trade minister, our Minister of International Trade, Chrystia Freeland.
We also talked at length about climate change. And I was able to point out that Canada is not only back to do its part to fight against climate change but also that Canada is here to actively work to encourage other countries to establish ambitions and a collective and concrete responsibility to obtain a good solution to Paris, so that we can move forward in a responsible way on the global stage with an ambitious and robust solution coming out of COP-21 in Paris.
It was a pleasure for me to be here and I look forward to taking your questions.