Conservative leadership candidate Jean Charest recently shared his personal thoughts on Canada's relationship with the World Economic Forum. In a campaign video released Saturday, the former Quebec premier urged voters: “Folks, don't worry about the WEF”.
The video in question features Charest answering a series of questions in the style of WIRED's Google autocomplete interviews, in which “celebrities answer the web's most searched questions about themselves.”
The questions answered by Charest include the following:
“Is Jean Charest a Liberal?”
“Is Jean Charest a separatist?”
“Is Jean Charest a lawyer?”
“Is Jean Charest an MP?”
“Is Jean Charest a member of the WEF?”
“Is Jean Charest married?”
“Is Jean Charest still alive?”
Responding to whether or not he’s a member of the World Economic Forum, Charest states “the answer is no.” He then shares that while not a member, he previously attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting and has no concerns about the organization's influence in Canada.
In an apparent nod to fellow leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre's statement that he would “ban ministers from attending the World Economic Forum” if elected prime minister, Charest says he would have no problem with Canadian ministers involving themselves with the WEF.
“If any of my ministers go to the WEF? Fine,” Charest offers. “I mean, they have good judgment, they have a brain, they can — they know what's good or right.”
Charest concludes his comments on the World Economic Forum by urging Canadians not to concern themselves with the organization's influence.
“So folks, don't worry about the WEF,” Charest says. “Let's worry about the country. That's where the real issue is. It's not the WEF — it's about Canada.”
Charest's full response to the question reads as follows:
“Now, is Jean Charest a member of the WEF? The answer is no! But you know what, I've been at the World Economic Forum.
Every premier of Quebec, for example, has been there from the beginning — and you know why? I don't go to attend the sessions. I go to sit in a room from nine o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock at night, where I meet business leaders on a 45-minute rotation for three days.
No, I don't go out skiing. It's not about dinners, it's not — it's all about business, business business, and if any of my ministers go to the WEF? Fine.
I mean, they have good judgment, they have a brain, they can — they know what's good or right.
So folks, don't worry about the WEF.
Let's worry about the country. That's where the real issue is. It's not the WEF — it's about Canada.”