German Chancellor Comes to Canada to Meet Prime Minister, Business Leaders

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will join Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz on a short Canadian visit later this month, including stops in Montreal, Toronto and Stephenville in western Newfoundland, his office announced on Saturday.

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Details of the visit were set forth in a press release shared by the PMO, which said the visit will begin August 21-23 in Montreal, where meetings will take place with German and Canadian business leaders. A tour of a local artificial intelligence institute is also scheduled.

Trudeau and his administration have been criticized for a decision earlier this year to grant a permit that exempts Siemens Canada from sanctions against Russia, allowing it to return a turbine for use in a pipeline supplying natural gas to Germany.

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

The statement announcing Scholz’s tour noted that the two leaders’ visit to Montreal will advance shared priorities between Canada and Germany, “including our unwavering support for Ukraine, protecting peace and security in Europe.” and the rest of the world, and addressing the wider global repercussions of the illegal and unwarranted Russian invasion.”

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“Leaders will also continue to work on ways for the two countries to work together to ensure energy security and accelerate the global clean energy transition, including through secure access to key resources such as clean hydrogen and critical minerals,” the statement said.

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

The trip concludes with a stop in Stephenville, NL, where Trudeau and Scholz will attend a hydrogen fair. The statement notes that the two countries also plan to “formally deepen” a common goal of promoting a clean economy, but did not offer other details.

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

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

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

While the government’s first statement for returning the turbine to Russian energy giant Gazprom was about gas supplies, a newly released document prepared by Global Affairs Canada for Secretary of State Melanie Joly suggests that jobs and global inflation were also considerations.

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

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

It also warned that failure to return the turbine could ultimately weaken support for Western allies’ strong stance on Russia. Without the turbine, Russia could blame Western sanctions for limiting the Nord pipeline’s ability to operate, and that would likely further increase world energy prices and global inflation.

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