A very 'meh' G8 for Canada - Macleans.ca

A very ‘meh’ G8 for Canada

No trade agreement—and not much else either


Domestic scandals followed Stephen Harper all the way to Europe, with reporters asking Duffy and Trudeau questions at every opportunity, but the prime minister comes back with little to distract Canadians with. Tuesday marked the end of a two-day meeting of G8 leaders in Northern Ireland, which in turn concluded the PM’s eight-day Europe tour. It was a disappointing summit, but particularly so for Canada.

Here is, in brief, what went down:

No trade agreement

As predicted by Paul Wells here at Maclean’s, Harper did not bag the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, the free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union that Ottawa says could boost two-way trade by 20 per cent. Reports about what went wrong are many and varied. Likely hang-ups include disagreements on beef exports, government regulation of the financial services sector and the protection of France’s “cultural industries”—which is a pretty bizarre term that almost certainly encompasses beef producers. Canada has blamed the EU for delaying a deal—and the EU has promptly pointed the finger back at Canada.

Meanwhile, the EU has kicked off trade negotiations with the U.S. on Monday, something that might further delay CETA, as our counterparts are likely to get distracted by that much larger prize. Also, as Wells noted, “Any concession they grant us is one they must consider granting, approximately, to a market nearly 10 times as large.”

On CETA British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It’s now down to the last few yards and I’m sure it will be done.” But that was the same prime minister who was raving about the economic benefits of the U.S. deal this morning with no mention of Canada’s.

Global rules on corporate tax

G8 countries pledged to step up collaboration on stemming corporate tax evasion. That would include automatic cross-national information sharing on which multinationals have paid taxes where and the establishment of central registries of companies indicating “beneficial ownership” information in order to fight the use of shell companies to avoid taxation. Canada, the British press reported on Monday, was lukewarm about the latter idea.


The summit postponed to late August or early September a Syrian peace conference originally scheduled to take place in June or July. Russia quashed hopes that the summit would produce a strong, unified stance against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, by saying over the weekend it would not endorse the removal of the Syrian dictator. This, in turn, prompted a rather blunt resmark from Harper, who called the meeting, a “G-7 plus one”—with the odd one out being Moscow.

Still, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to a final communiqué calling for an agreement on a new “transitional governing body with full executive powers,” which was more than most people expected seen how negotiations has kicked off.

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A very ‘meh’ G8 for Canada

  1. This is why the G8 is irrelevant.

    • G8’s share of the worlds economy is shrinking fast as countries outside of the G8 house of ponzi fraud debt and currency dilution are doing well.

      Even the Mexican economy is out performing US and Canada. As are Chile, Peru, Brazil, China….all doing better as they do not worship debt as a deity.

      • ‘You know the times they are a-changing, when the world’s tallest building is in Dubai, the world’s largest shopping mall in Beijing, the world’s largest movie industry in Bollywood, the world’s largest traded company is Chinese, and the world’s richest man is Mexican’

  2. G8-my-wallet. What isn’t disclosed but probably discussed is the fail of G8 currencies from excessive money/debt creation that is devaluing G8 currencies. The debt fraud started in 2006/7 as only stupid investors lend money below inflation+taxes so government just printed inflationary money.

    No one is yet admiring that the Bernanke Doctrine and Keynes isn’t working like the banker/governemtn fraudsters want. They can’t grasp the concept that people with less value money buy less goods, and less goods means less jobs. This currency fraud is killing any chance of recovery and in fact caused the economic problems in the first place. And all we get from policians is lies, deny and deceit.

    But the rest of the world is growing and compensating for a less value, depreciation and diminishing G8 influence. More and more countries are using Yuan as the reserve currency, as world markets are bloated with USDs a depreciating:


    Note how unemployment grew when government started bying its own debt in the ruse of solvnacy. I say ruse as no one is lending the billions and trillions for government paper….with a negative value return below inflation plus taxes.

    The dynamics of debt and currency fraud is having long term negative impact and G8 is scrambling for ways to deceive us and keep big war mongering wasteful government we can’t afford.

    • Debt isn’t the problem. GDP is.