Canada Opens Web Gateway to the G8

(No. 50 - January 29, 2010 - 3 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today introduced Canada's G8 website, which will serve as an essential forum for citizen engagement on Canada's role as president of the G8 in 2010 and host of the G8 Summit in Muskoka, Ontario, on June 25 and 26.

This week in Davos, Switzerland, Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended the World Economic Forum, where he set out Canada's plans as president of the G8 and host of the Muskoka Summit.

"Going forward, I believe the G8 will focus on security concerns and human welfare," said Prime Minister Harper before travelling to Davos. "It is incumbent upon the leaders of the world's most developed economies to assist those in the most vulnerable positions. As president of the G8 in 2010, Canada will champion a major initiative to improve the health of women and children in the world's poorest regions. Members of the G8 can make a tangible difference in maternal and child health, and Canada will be making this the top priority in June."

 "We invite Canadians and others to use our website as their gateway to the G8," said Minister Cannon. "It is a place where they can express their views and obtain expert feedback in this pivotal year of Canadian leadership."

Canada's 2010 Muskoka G8 website is designed to be an information bridge between the public and those in government who shape Canada's position on issues to be discussed at the Muskoka 2010 G8 Summit. This is part of the Government of Canada's goal to make the G8 process as transparent and accountable as possible.

The G8 brings together eight of the world's major advanced economies—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States—as well as the European Union. G8 leaders and their delegations work toward developing common solutions to complex international issues and forming coordinated responses to global geopolitical, development and security challenges.

Canada's G8 website will help foster public discourse on this initiative and on other themes to be discussed at the Muskoka Summit. For the first time, Canada's G8 Sherpa, the senior official who directs Canada's role in the G8 process, will take visitors behind the scenes of preparations and G8 activities through a blog on the G8 website.

Canada's G8 website will host formal eDiscussions, where moderators will facilitate dialogue on submissions and comments from the public about specific topics. These eDiscussions will be summarized and conveyed to senior Canadian officials before the Muskoka Summit.

Other online discussions hosted on Canada's G8 website will make it easier to learn more about relevant topics. The site's "Connect with us" section will link to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Gagnaire
Deputy Director, Strategic Communications and Media Relations
Summits Management Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874