Remarks by the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting 

Speech

June 10, 2022 – Paris, France

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Good afternoon. Thank you for joining me on this call.

I have just finished attending the OECD Ministerial Council Meetings in Paris, along with my colleague the Honourable Mary Ng, the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.

This is the first time that ministers have met in person since the pandemic. I had two and a half days of good meetings with colleagues from around the world.

The last three days generated productive discussions on today’s most pressing issues, and together with Minister Ng and Canada’s tireless ambassador to the OECD, Madeleine Chenette, we ensured Canada’s voice was well heard throughout.

Over the past three months, Russia’s horrific and unjustifiable aggression of Ukraine has upended the world and caused unimaginable suffering to Ukrainians. As I reiterated to my counterparts at the OECD this week, Canada remains unwavering in our commitment to defending the sovereignty, integrity and freedom of Ukraine.

To date this year, Canada has committed over $3 billion in economic, military and humanitarian support to Ukraine. This includes $1.9 billion in loans to Ukraine, of which $1.5 billion has already been disbursed. As I said during this week’s meetings, we must all do our part to support Ukraine and its democratically elected government.

We’re also working hard to deal with the adverse impacts of the war on global security, global economy and trade, especially inflation, food security and energy, and the energy shocks made worse by the war.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has created the biggest shock to global food systems in over a decade. Canada and its partners will continue to work together to strengthen food security and counter the impact of Putin’s war.

As part of the OECD’s focus on current global issues, we also had a robust conversation about how to continue to fight climate change and green our economies. We know that climate change can’t be solved unilaterally, and while we all must do our part, international cooperation and problem solving will be key to success. Canada’s established carbon pricing system is a model framework for reaching our collective climate change goals. We welcomed the launch of the Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches, which has the potential to help to mitigate carbon leakage risks between countries and ensure we can thrive in the global shift to a net-zero carbon economy.

Canada is internationally recognized for its leadership in ensuring that gender equality and inclusivity are core values and pillars of good economic and social policy.

The OECD meetings were an opportunity for me to highlight that one of the biggest barriers women face in reaching their professional potential is access to affordable child care, which was exacerbated by the pandemic.

That is why the federal government made it a key priority to establish a national early learning and child care system.

In less than a year, we reached agreements with all 13 Canadian provinces and territories. This significant accomplishment means that by the end of 2022, Canadian families will have seen their child care fees reduced by an average of 50 per cent.

And by 2025-26, average child care fees will be just $10 a day for all regulated child care spaces across Canada.

Finally, we discussed the significant progress made since the autumn when 137 countries in the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework agreed to the October 2021 Statement on a Two-Pillar plan for international tax reform.

New standards to address the tax challenges of digitalization and globalization are essential to our collective economic recovery and growth. We remain committed to the timely finalization and implementation of the Two-Pillar solution.

We also had a Youthwise report to the ministers for the first time in the OECD framework. This is a panel of youth around the world that’s brought together. And then we had two representatives, one from Italy, that were the hosts of this year’s session, and then a Canadian from Alberta, who spoke very well about the need for youth to engage in setting policy and to also make sure that policies have a future forward lens. It was a very good addition and recommendation by a Canadian youth delegate.

Finally, this meeting of the OECD also included a focus on Africa, and its future as a powerhouse of the global economy and as a diverse continent with whom the OECD must do more to engage with in a reciprocal, mutually beneficial way. Global institutions such as the OECD provide a platform for Canada to engage and exchange with countries from around the world, and we look forward to contributing to further collaboration between the OECD, the African Union, and African governments.

Thank you, and I’d be happy to answer your questions.

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