Scholz coming to Canada to meet Trudeau and others


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will accompany German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on a brief visit to Canada later this month that will include stops in Montreal, Toronto and Stephenville in western Newfoundland, his office announced Saturday.

Details of the visit were outlined in a statement shared by the Prime Minister’s Office, which said the Aug. 21-23 visit begins in Montreal, where meetings will be held with German and Canadian business leaders. A visit is also planned to a local artificial intelligence institute.

Trudeau and his government have come under fire for a decision earlier this year to grant a permit exempting Siemens Canada from Russia sanctions that allow it to return a turbine for use in a pipeline that supplies natural gas to Germany.

The turbine was repaired at a Siemens plant in Montreal and the government defended the move as necessary to secure gas supplies to Europe.

The statement announcing Scholz’s tour notes that the two leaders’ visit to Montreal will advance shared priorities between Canada and Germany, “including our unwavering support for Ukraine, the protection of peace and security in Europe and globally, and tackling the wider global impacts of illegal and unjustifiable Russia. invasion.”

“Leaders will also continue to collaborate on ways the two countries can work together to preserve energy security and accelerate the global transition to clean energy, including through secure access to key resources such as clean hydrogen and essential minerals,” the statement read.

The two leaders will then travel to Toronto, where Trudeau will participate in the virtual summit on Russia’s annexation of Crimea, followed by an appearance at the Canada-Germany Business Forum.

The trip will end with a stopover in Stephenville, Newfoundland, where Trudeau and Scholz will attend a hydrogen trade show. The statement notes that the two countries also intend to “formally pursue” a common goal of advancing a clean economy, but provided no further details.

“Germany and Canada are close friends on the world stage. We are bound by our shared commitments to democracy, peace and security, including our support for Ukraine, a clean and healthy future and a healthy economy. that works for people,” Trudeau said in the statement.

The statement said the two men will also talk about the automotive sector and climate change.

The prime minister and chancellor last met in June at the G7 summit in Germany.

While the government’s initial explanation for returning the turbine to Russian energy giant Gazprom concerned gas supply, a recently released document prepared by Global Affairs Canada for Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly suggests that jobs and global inflation were also considerations.

The government submitted the “memorandum of action” and the permit itself to the Federal Court in response to a legal challenge to the turbine decision filed by the Ukrainian World Congress.

The memo notes that the specialized Montreal facility working on the turbine employs more than 400 “highly trained” employees and is the only one in the world certified to perform maintenance on the equipment.

He also warned that failure to return the turbine could ultimately weaken support for Western allies’ tough stance on Russia. He said that without the turbine, Russia could blame Western sanctions for limiting the Northern Gas Pipeline’s ability to operate, which would likely further increase global energy prices and global inflation.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 13, 2022.