Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to a question about the lasting impact of the G7 from a reporter in a self-congratulatory manner and took a mild dig at the media, before declining to repeat his remark in French for non-English speaking audiences.
The reporter, raising a question to Canada's prime minister about what would be remembered from this gathering of world leaders — aside from a beachside photo-op, a barbecue and a royal banquet — was greeted with a boastful response from Trudeau.
“I don't know what you all will be writing about tomorrow,” Trudeau began, “but I can tell you the work we got done here today... on the responsibility we wield, collectively... during a time duelling crises of the pandemic and climate change, the impacts of this G7 will be felt long after the papers you write for will have been used to wrap fish,” he concluded with a smirk and a nod.
Asked to repeat his answer in French, the prime minister backtracked, saying “maybe I won't do the newspapers in fish thing, I might get in trouble for that,” perhaps realizing that his remarks would be interpreted as a dig at the media that so often lavishes praise on him.
“We respect the freedom of the press and the independence and the work that you all do in a very important way,” Trudeau clarified.
The expression appeared to be a riff on an English idiom about the speed at which news moves.
Meanwhile, back in Canada away from the glitz and glamour of the G7 summit, Trudeau's government, along with support from the NDP and Bloc Quebecois, are moving forward with Bill C-10, a bill that has been widely criticized by media outlets from all sides of the political spectrum for its attempt at regulating the internet.
The attempts to censor the internet are just another step in the process of Canada's federal government gaining more influence over the media, having issued a $600-million bailout to companies during the 2019 election. Even the country's state broadcaster, the CBC, offered criticism of that bailout.
That previous bailout, however, did not stop Canada's largest newspaper chain, Postmedia, from recently campaigning directly to the prime minister in an attempt to receive more funds from the government.