Trudeau heads to Paris af­ter pipe­line meet­ing

The Sault Star - - NEWS - LEE BERTHI­AUME

OTTAWA — Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau is off to France as he con­tin­ues more than a week of glo­be­trot­ting fol­low­ing a brief stop in Ottawa Sun­day to dis­cuss the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line cri­sis with the pre­miers of Al­berta and Bri­tish Columbia.

Trudeau was sup­posed to fly di­rectly to Paris from Peru, where he at­tended the Sum­mit of the Amer­i­cas on Fri­day and Satur­day, be­fore de­cid­ing to sit down with Al­berta Premier Rachel Not­ley and B.C. Premier John Hor­gan on Par­lia­ment Hill.

With that highly charged meet­ing now out of the way, Trudeau will turn his at­ten­tion to what will be his first of­fi­cial visit to France, where he’ll meet with French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and ad­dress the French Na­tional As­sem­bly.

The visit comes only days af­ter France joined Bri­tain and the U.S. in launch­ing airstrikes against the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment for an al­leged chem­i­cal-weapon attack this month that killed at least 40 peo­ple and left hun­dreds more in­jured.

Trudeau has voiced sup­port for the joint airstrikes, and will have a chance to dis­cuss Syria and Rus­sia, which has emerged as Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad’s strong­est backer, when he meets with Macron on Mon­day.

Macron spoke with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin last week, be­fore the airstrikes against Syria, and is sched­uled to visit Rus­sia in May.

On Tues­day, Trudeau will be­come the first Cana­dian prime min­is­ter to ad­dress the French Na­tional As­sem­bly and the most re­cent leader to be given that rare op­por­tu­nity since King Felipe of Spain in June 2015.

His speech is ex­pected to touch on the rise of na­tion­al­ism, pop­ulism and xeno­pho­bia, which have be­come se­ri­ous con­cerns in France and other parts of Europe in re­cent years. Much of the prime min­is­ter’s two-day visit to France be­fore he heads to Lon­don to at­tend a meet­ing of Com­mon­wealth lead­ers will also fo­cus on trade as Canada looks to ease its re­liance on the U.S. mar­ket.

Trudeau’s mes­sage will in­clude high­light­ing the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits of the new Canada-Euro­pean Union free trade deal, which came into force in Septem­ber.

The prime min­is­ter will also meet Michaelle Jean, the for­mer gov­er­nor gen­eral of Canada who is now head of the Fran­co­phonie, as well as the head of French aerospace gi­ant Air­bus, which has part­nered with Cana­dian coun­ter­part Bom­bardier on the lat­ter’s C Se­ries pas­sen­ger planes.


Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau de­parts Lima, Peru on Satur­day on route to Ottawa. Trudeau left Ottawa for France on Sun­day, con­tin­u­ing his for­eign tour.

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