Rethinking the G7 Action Plan

G7 demonstrators - Jonathan Monpetit, CBC.JPG

As a prelude to the full-blown Group of Seven summit this weekend, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have agreed to "action plans" for international assistance, sustainable development and global gender equality. Meanwhile, in the streets of Québec City, a group of roughly 100 demonstrators is protesting the summit's “imperialist, colonialist and anti-environment” agenda.

Times have changed. Just nineteen years ago, when the anti-globalization juggernaut rolled into Seattle, the politicians and the protesters had different agendas, and you could tell them apart. Alas, while it's true that this latest crop of G7 demonstrators look duly menacing burning flags in their Berkeley-approved Antifawear™, their messaging seems a little unfocused. One of the young demonstrators told a CP reporter, for example, that he was protesting the economic system in Canada, even though "I don’t know what I want to replace it with.” Another said, "I’m just here because something interesting is finally happening in Quebec City." Indeed.

Here's a thought. Why doesn't the prime minister just invite these idealistic young Quebecers back to the G7 compound to hash out the whole global-capitalism thing with President Trump's entourage—preferably over one of those fat Canadian spliffs the Senate has just finished debating? They seem like nice kids. And Trudeau, at least, knows what he's heading to Charlevoix to protest.