Trudeau gets warm wel­come in Ham­burg

More than 12,000 ac­tivists cheer Canada’s Prime Min­is­ter on ar­riv­ing in Ger­many city for G20 meet­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - MIA RABSON

HAM­BURG — Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s sunny ways will be tested over the next few days amid ten­sions both in­side and out­side the gates of the G20 sum­mit in Ger­many, where tens of thou­sands of pro­test­ers are al­ready wreak­ing havoc.

After pro­test­ers in Ham­burg torched a Porsche dealership overnight, things ap­peared rel­a­tively calm through the day Thurs­day un­til a bar­rage of fire­crack­ers and bot­tles aimed riot po­lice was an­swered with tear gas and wa­ter can­nons.

Not far away, the mood was less vi­o­lent as more than 12,000 ac­tivists at­tend­ing the Global Cit­i­zen Fes­ti­val greeted Trudeau with rau­cous cheers dur­ing a rock con­cert at an arena in the north­west part of the city.

Trudeau, along with his wife So­phie Gre­goire Trudeau, in­tro­duced the band Cold­play and spoke of Canada’s fem­i­nist in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment pol­icy, which he said puts women and girls at the heart of Canada’s aid ef­forts.

“That’s one of the mes­sages I’ll be bring­ing with me to the G20 Lead­ers’ Sum­mit this week­end, and I hope you’ll help to share that mes­sage too,” he said.

He later re­turned to dis­cuss the need to erad­i­cate global dis­eases like po­lio.

Ear­lier in the day, Trudeau ar­rived in the north­ern port city just hours be­fore U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, whose pro­tec­tion­ist rhetoric and stance against cli­mate change ac­tion pose a threat to much of the G20’s re­cent progress.

But in the min­utes after Trudeau touched down, all the fo­cus was on his three-year-old son, Hadrien.

After de­scend­ing from the plane while swing­ing from his par­ents’ arms, Hadrien walked proudly down the red car­pet clutch­ing the bou­quet of flow­ers Ger­man of­fi­cials ini­tially pre­sented to his mother.

It was a fun di­ver­sion to kick off Trudeau’s visit to Ger­many, a three-day stay where ten­sions be­tween other world lead­ers are high and pro­test­ers are al­ready clash­ing with po­lice in the streets.

At the con­cert, mere men­tions of Trump or Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin sent the crowd into fits of boo­ing, the Cana­dian prime min­is­ter was given rock star sta­tus among the con­cert go­ers.

The G20 gets fully un­der­way Fri­day, but lead­ers were al­ready meet­ing each other in bi­lat­eral tete-a-tetes Thurs­day evening.

Trump sat down with Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, with whom he shares a frac­tious re­la­tion­ship. Merkel has made no se­cret of her plan to iso­late Trump and his anti-cli­mate change stance dur­ing the meet­ings, and Trump has crit­i­cized Ger­many in­tensely over ev­ery­thing from its de­fence spend­ing to its refugee pol­icy.

Dur­ing the con­cert, Trudeau had meet­ings in a pri­vate suite in the arena with Nor­we­gian Prime Min­is­ter Erna Sol­berg, Ar­gen­tine Pres­i­dent Mauricio Macri and the head of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim. Macri and Trudeau will host the G20 and G7 meet­ings in 2018, and that formed much of the sub­stance of their con­ver­sa­tion. Kim gushed ef­fu­sively about him prior to their meet­ing.

Cana­di­ans are “all so lucky” to have Trudeau, said Kim.


Justin Trudeau’s son Hadrien was the cen­tre of at­ten­tion after the Prime Min­is­ter’s fam­ily ar­rived in Ham­burg for the G20 meet­ing.

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