TORONTO – Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump might have something in common after all.
During a keynote discussion at Google’s Go North summit on Nov. 2, Canada’s prime minister was asked a direct question by former Google CEO and Alphabet Inc. executive chair Eric Schmit about the current U.S. president: “At the level that you’re willing to talk about it… What do you agree on with Mr. Trump?”
“I agree with Mr. Trump that there are an awful lot of people who don’t feel like the economy is working for them,” Trudeau replied. “The mandate that he got from the American people was to support people who feel like they’ve been left aside from the success that America has seen over the past years, and the mandate I got from Canadians is explicitly to make sure that the middle class is strengthened, and those working hard to join the middle class are given opportunities again.”
Trudeau admitted the two leaders have different approaches to carrying out those mandates, though he noted that Trump has expressed interest in Canada’s merit-based immigration model, and that the both administrations tout the benefits of investing in infrastructure as well.
“I truly believe that the best way to ensure that Canadians – all Canadians – have an opportunity to succeed is investing in education… housing, the means to access child benefits, tax breaks for low-income, hard-working Canadians by raising taxes on the wealthiest one per cent,” Trudeau said. “Not things that are necessarily high up on President Trump’s agenda, but certainly things that I am happy to make an argument for being successful.”
“We have the fastest-growing economy in the G7,” he continued. “We’ve created about 450,000 new jobs over the past two years… most of those being full-time jobs. These are markers that show we’re on the right track in terms of saying if everyone is more confident and more engaged in our collective success… we’re going to do a better job for our citizens.”