The Council of Canadians held a press conference this morning from the G7 “free speech zone” in La Malbaie, Quebec, to call for this G7 summit to be the last one.
“The so-called “free speech zone” nearly 2km away from the G7 summit is ground zero for the G7’s attacks on free speech. It's a violation of democratic rights for people who want to protest on key issues of our day to be kept out of sight and earshot of leaders making decisions about their lives, particularly on decisions like those the G7 are making about climate change that affect us all,” says Mark Calzavara, Regional Organizer with the Council of Canadians. “The police wouldn’t even let us bring in our table and chairs for this press conference.”
The G7 is a forum, like the World Economic Forum or the World Trade Organization, that only serves to reinforce neoliberalism. The two-day summit in La Malbaie will cost about $605 million, with $259 million to be spent on security.
The G7 summit will also mark US president Donald Trump's first visit to Canada. Thousands have signed the Council’s petition expressing their concerns about Trump's hateful, misogynist agenda (it strains credibility that he could contribute to the G7 summit's discussion on "advancing gender equality and women's empowerment").
“This should be the last G7 summit,” says Andrea Furlong, Interim Executive Director of the Council of Canadians. “The G7 summit will only include the richest countries in the world and not, for instance, the 54 countries in Africa or the 12 countries in South America. These G-summits should more inclusively be G-195 summits - all countries represented in the United Nations General Assembly.”
The Council has also just launched a petition to make this the last G7 summit.
In La Malbaie: Mark Calzavara, Regional Organizer, Council of Canadians, 416-319-6524, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Ottawa: Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of Canadians, 613-795-8685, email@example.com