If former US President Barack Obama reiterated his disappointment at the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Accord on Climate Change last week, he reassured himself that many environmental advances will survive To this decision because companies have already integrated them into their ways of doing business.
“I had a lot of comfort last week when I saw American states, cities, universities, companies that made it clear that they will continue to make progress for the benefit of future generations, “He said in his speech.
This optimist was in the image of his speech delivered to his Quebec audience on Tuesday: a message of hope.
Speaking to more than 6,000 people at the Palais des congrès in Montreal on Tuesday night, Obama touched on a number of issues, from the economy to attacks on democracy and the perverse effects of the Internet.
Preferring subjects longer vision news last month, the 44 th president said it was “normal” and “inevitable” that some countries – including his own – choose to isolate these times of upheaval , Marked by terrorist attacks, the changing economy and climate change that lead some to opt for protectionism and nationalist movements.
“Fear has to be replaced by hope,” he said.
The 44 th president of the United States has chosen to talk about economic justice and the urgent need to reduce inequalities in society. They can be eliminated if the system adapts to the transition required by technological and economic change. He cited as an example the professors, who should be better paid, he said, and increased access to health care.
“Progress must benefit all,” he said.
But it was the environmental issues that attracted the most applause – and marked many people who attended his speech.
“It’s a generation challenge. And if we do not act now, it will be much harder for the next generation to face a warmer planet, “he said.
But there is good news, he added.
“All the work we have done is now incorporated into the decisions that are made by companies in the US and around the world. So it’s not as if Wal-Mart is going to completely change his ways of doing things. They will continue to build on the clean energy in which they have invested because in fact, it saves them money, “he said during the question-and-answer portion of the event hosted by Sophie Brochu, the great patron of Gaz Métro.
But he said he wanted the United States to be a leader, not on the margins of the action, with an allusion to his White House successor, Donald Trump, whose words he had not uttered name.
Barack Obama was confident that there will be a woman president of the United States, and that, during his life.
“I do not know who she will be,” he said, but he will not be his wife.
The popularity of former First Lady Michelle Obama was the origin of a movement that seeks to see her run the country – but the latter never showed any interest.
No more than his daughters Malia and Sasha, he said, but they have time to change their minds.
If the defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton failed to break the ultimate glass ceiling of the US presidency, it is only a matter of time.
“People should not feel discouraged about the prospects of women based solely on an election,” he said.
Hosted as a star
Mr. Obama was welcomed as a star at the Palais des congrès in Montreal, where he delivered a speech at the invitation of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM).
On arriving on stage, Obama said “thank you very much” and “good evening” to the crowd in French and he recalled that he had strong ties with Canada, including a brother-in-law from Burlington, Ontario .
He also recalled that he and his wife, Michelle, had received “his friends”, Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire, at the White House last year, during a state dinner – the first in More than 20 years, he recalled.
Several distinguished guests were present at the event. Prime Minister Philippe Couillard was on hand, as did his finance minister Carlos Leitao. Also present were Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly, Francophonie Secretary General Michaëlle Jean, former Prime Minister Jean Charest, Mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre, and many representatives from Québec inc. Including Jean Coutu and Stephen Bronfman of Claridge, among many others.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not among the number.
It was Obama’s first Canadian conference since he left the White House. His last official visit to the country was in late June 2016 at the North American Leaders Summit in Ottawa.