Trudeau to spotlight gender, feminism at G7 Summit, Bono not convinced

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a speech at the federal Liberal national convention in Halifax on Saturday, April 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

The gender equality advisory council that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set up to help bring feminism to the G7 summit will be publishing its full list of recommendations later this year.

Isabelle Hudon, the Canadian ambassador to France who is co-chairing the advisory council, says that means even the ideas that Trudeau ends up deciding not to champion around the exclusive table will get to see the light of day.

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The Liberal government is making gender equality an overarching theme of its G7 presidency, which will include a focus on the economic empowerment of women as world leaders gather at a resort in La Malbaie, Que., in June.

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Hudon says members of the advisory council, which is holding its first in-person meeting in Ottawa this week, felt strongly they be able to show they pushed for the causes that are dear to their organizations and the people they represent, rather than have any rejected ideas be buried.

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That could end up including the controversial issue of sexual and reproductive health rights, which could pose a challenge to arriving at a consensus around the G7 table, particularly when it comes to convincing U.S. President Donald Trump to agree.

Canada hopes the advisory council, which includes such high-profile members as billionaire philanthropist Melinda Gates and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who is not at the Ottawa meeting, will become a permanent part of the G7 process.

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However, Trudeau is being lampooned in a new video by the anti-poverty organization led by his friend and U2 frontman Bono for not having a concrete plan to advance his feminist agenda at the G7.

The one-minute video by the One Campaign, which is to be released today, pokes fun at the prime minister, citing his many photo-ops, his “cool socks” and even dressing up as Superman for Halloween.

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“We like your style, prime minister, like how you play with pandas, photobomb a prom pic, dress up as Superman or show off your cool socks,” intones the voice-over, accompanied by various still photos of Trudeau in the aforementioned scenarios.

“You talk a good talk, prime minister. But where’s your plan?”

The video says Trudeau’s time is running out, with the Charlevoix G7 leaders’ summit on the horizon on June 8.

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