Trudeau to end French visit with National Assembly speech, then heads to UK
UpdatedCanada countering tide of cynicism with positive approach, Trudeau tells French National AssemblyJustin Trudeau hailed both Canada and France as champions of inclusion, environmental protection and sustainable economic growth as the first Canadian prime minister to address the French National Assembly.
PM promotes Canada as country that favours diversity, inclusion, environmental protectionPrime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the French National Assembly on Tuesday, praising the two countries' shared history. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Justin Trudeau hailed both Canada and France as champions of inclusion, environmental protection and sustainable economic growth as the first Canadian prime minister to address the French National Assembly.
Trudeau's speech also touched on what has become a common theme: battling the rise of nationalism, populism and xenophobia, which have become serious concerns in France and other parts of Europe.
He promoted Canada as a country that is countering a tide of cynicism with a positive, "resolutely progressive" approach.
As many countries define themselves through opposition, Trudeau said Canada is declaring itself in favour of progressive trade, diversity, immigration, environmental protection, gender equality and liberty.
"In the face of ignorance, let us choose reason. In the face of obscurity, let us choose science, debate and progress."
He also cheered France's efforts to pursue gender parity in government, a comment that earned a standing ovation from the women in the assembly, as well as a relative handful of the men.
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On Monday, Canada and France pledged to renew the fight against climate change, hoping to keep momentum on the world stage going after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the Paris climate agreement.
A new France-Canada partnership that includes pushing for a global price on carbon falls in line with the Trudeau government's priorities for the G7 Summit in Quebec in June.
Officials say the government is also hoping the partnership will convince the French that Canada is serious about fighting climate change â" and as a result help with ratification of the new Canada-EU free trade deal.
There have been concerns in France that investor-protection clauses within the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, or CETA as the deal is known, would lead to weakened environmental rules.
Later today, the prime minister is flying to London to meet with Britis h counterpart Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth.
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