President Obama addresses Parliament

Described by Snapchat as “two’s a bromance, three’s a summit,” the North American Leaders’ Summit garnered interest across social media platforms as Canadians welcomed Presidents Barrack Obama and Enrique Peña Nieto to the country last week.

As part of American President, Barrack Obama’s visit to Ottawa, he delivered a rousing address to Parliament.

“I could not be more honoured to be joining you in this historic hall — this cathedral of freedom. And we Americans can never say it enough — we could not ask for a better friend or ally than Canada. We could not. It’s true. It is true. And we do not take it for granted,” said Obama.

In his speech, Obama applauded Trudeau for his leadership skills in Canada.

“My time in office may be nearing an end, but I know that Canada — and the world — will benefit from your leadership for years to come,” stated the U.S. President.

Obama even took the chance to crack some jokes aimed at Canada like “Michelle now refers to my hair as the Great White North,” and “Just as Canadians can salute American teams for winning more Stanley Cups in the NHL.”

However, on a more serious note, Obama spoke to the importance of Canada contributing towards defence in an increasingly unstable world.

“As your ally and as your friend, let me say that we’ll be more secure when every NATO member, including Canada, contributes its full share to our common security. Because the Canadian Armed Forces are really good and if I can borrow a phrase, the world needs more Canada. NATO needs more Canada. We need you. We need you,” said Obama.

Obama also addressed Parliament on issues of women’s rights, reaching out to minorities, the refugee crisis, sustainable development and climate change.

The “three amigos” met last week in Ottawa to speak about the future of the three North American countries. Topics discussed included sustainable economic growth, transitioning to a low carbon economy and providing better opportunities for Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans alike.

Seeing as the three countries are each other’s largest trading partners and sources of foreign investment, the leaders also focused talks on economy and trade.

Defence co-operation, expanding their roles in UN peace operations, collaborating on global public health needs and working together to address climate change were other issues the North American leaders tackled at the Summit.

The leaders walked away from the Summit with a climate deal that will see to the three countries generating 50 per cent of electricity from “clean” sources by 2025.

“Today, the leaders of Canada, the United States, and Mexico come together to address shared challenges, knowing cooperation pays off, and that working in partnership always beats going it alone. The outcome of today’s discussions will improve the lives of Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans across the continent. We will streamline the flow of legitimate goods and trusted travelers across our borders, promote cleaner air and waterways, and work toward a competitive, low-carbon, and sustainable North American economy that creates good, middle-class jobs for our citizens.” said Trudeau in a statement.

Image: President Barack Obama walks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Parliament Hill, Wednesday, June 29, 2016 in Ottawa, Canada. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (Pablo Martinez Monsivais)


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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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