Saturday, February 17, 2018


It's inevitable, the President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, will set foot on Canadian soil when Justin Trudeau hosts the 2018  'G-7 Summit of World Leaders' in the spring, on June 8 and 9.

The somewhat unorthodox President will join other world leaders from the United-Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Japan as Canadians welcome the most powerful politicians on the planet to our land for the 6th time since the inception of the world body in 1976 when Trudeau 'pere' was added. An informal group of world leaders had been created a couple of years earlier for the most part under the tutelage of Treasury Secretary George Schultz a member of Richard Nixon's Cabinet.

The setting for this year's 'tete a tete' is the sumptuous Fairmont Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie, on the lower north shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec's Charlevoix Region. Mr. Trump should feel right at home: Built in 1899; for most of its first century, the manoir was a summer refuge of rich American patriarchs. Fact of the matter, it was the President of the United-States, William H. Taft (another Republican) who inaugurated the resort's 27 hole championship golf course in 1925. - Lest I digress about the setting, and to Prime Minister Trudeau's credit, at least no 'fake' Muskoka Lake setting will have to be built several miles away to accommodate the world's media as per the case of the 2010 event held (for the most part) secretly in Huntsville, Ontario.

As a sidebar it's none-the-less interesting to note the dynamics of a the 'Hawk / Dove' like relationships between previous Canadian P.M. and the U.S. President each previous time the G-7 has met on Canadian soil - In 1981 at Montebello, Quebec,  Ronald Reagan and Pierre Trudeau met (I sense the excitement). Though it was surely an altogether different atmosphere with the Reagan, Brian Mulroney 'kiss fest' at Quebec City in 1988 - Remember 'Danny Boy' ? ... Clinton faced Chretien at Halifax in 1995, Bush and Harper at Kananaskis, Alberta in 2002,  and as referenced already Obama and Harper in Ontario in 2010.

To the degree that it may be possible, the Americans have launched their own charm offensive to pave the way for their unpredictable President's June visit to the G-7 in Canada. Flanked by the  cannons, bombs and airplanes of Ottawa's War Museum, in just about her only public appearance since arriving in the nation's capital in October 2017,  Mr.Trump's envoy to Canada, U.S. Ambassador, Kelly Craft, told the annual gala of the MacDonald-Laurier Institute last week that "Trump has more in common with (Justin) Trudeau than most people might think" - Her comments were echoed by Texas Republican Congressman Peter Sessions, also in attendance, who was quick to add that it's in America's best interest to "make Canada stronger" ... Oh Dear ! - Lest you ask : Formed in 2010, the MacDonald-Laurier Institute which hosted this bun fest describes itself as a 'Public Policy Think Tank' - ("High Muck a Mucks" my late mother would have called them.) - Last week's $200 a plate dinner to hear Ambassador Craft was a sell-out...Somehow my invite must have been lost in the mail.

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