Canada to double spending on global education fund: Trudeau

PM Justin Trudeau says Canada to grow commitment to Global Partnership for Education fund

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that Canada will double its commitment to the Global Partnership for Education fund.

Speaking in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum, with global education advocate Malala Yousafzai seated beside him, Trudeau said an additional $180 million will be provided to the fund in 2018-2020.

He said the money will provide support for girls’ education and help strengthen education in developing countries.

“A more peaceful and prosperous world starts with a quality basic education,” said Trudeau during a panel discussion on the empowerment of girls and women.

“Canada is committed to making sure young people around the world, especially girls, get the education they deserve.”

Trudeau added that “empowering the developing world through education is an essential pathway toward success.”

The prime minister reiterated that gender equality will be a major focus of the upcoming G7 leaders’ summit in Charlevoix, Que.

“This year, we’re taking a different approach on the G7. Instead of making (gender issues) a specific and important topic, we’re making it touch everything we do.”

Trudeau also reiterated that Melinda Gates and Isabelle Hudon, the Canadian ambassador to France, will serve as co-chairs of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council.

“Their job is to make sure that everything the G7 does — all the meetings, all the commitments, all the initiatives that we partner in this year and hopefully into the future, have a gender lens.”

Canada — which was a founding member of the GPE’s predecessor, the Education for All – Fast Track Initiative, contributed $57.6 million to the GPE from 2011-2014 and $120 million from 2015 until this year.

Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and honorary Canadian citizen who famously survived a Taliban bullet in 2012, visited Ottawa last April and implored Canada to take a global lead in ensuring more girls can go to school during a speech to the House of Commons.

The 19-year-old called on Canada to make girls’ education a centrepiece of the G7 leaders’ summit to be held in Charlevois, Que., in June.

Trudeau also met early Thursday with James Quincey, the CEO of Coca-Cola, who noted his firm is long-time investor in Canada.

“We love the country, and we’re going to make more investments,” said Quincey during a post-meeting photo session with Trudeau.

Quincey — obviously aware of Trudeau’s penchant for descriptive socks — began the brief session by handing Trudeau a small red gift bag containing socks emblazoned with the Coca Cola logo.

Trudeau also met with Jacob Wallenberg, chairman of Swedish-based Investor AB. Trudeau noted that Ottawa will host the SEB Nordic Conference in March, where Scandinavian investors will look at opportunities in Canada.

The prime minister was also scheduled to meet with Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, and Gianni Rometty, the president of FIFA, the world soccer body.

The Canadian Press

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