News, Politics

PM Harper Makes His Mark On G20 Summit

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Some of the leaders from the 2014 G20. Image: Agência Brasil
Some of the leaders from the 2014 G20. Image: Agência Brasil

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made his mark on the G20 Summit this year.

The Summit is a meeting of the leaders of 20 of the richest countries in the world.

The leaders of Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany and other countries met in Brisbane, Australia this year. The Summit is held in a different location every year.

Something very significant happened during a handshake between Stephen Harper and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin held out his hand to Harper, who told him, “Well, I guess I’ll shake your hand but I only have one thing to say to you—you need to get out of Ukraine,” according to Harper’s spokesman, Jason MacDonald.

He was telling Putin that Canada, and other countries, want Russia leave Ukraine alone and not try to make it part of Russia.

Putin replied, “Impossible, since we are not there,” according to a Russian spokesperson. In other words, Putin denied being in Ukraine, although there have been many accounts of Russian troops being in Ukraine.

It is not often that leaders are seen to speak so openly to each other about such large and important issues, especially during a casual encounter like a handshake.

CBC News reported that Putin was not a popular person at the meeting this year, and that he was seen eating lunch with just one other leader (who sat at the other side of the table, away from him). CBC also reported that Putin was off to the far left of the official photo that is always taken of the G20 leaders at the Summit.

The leaders had a number of meetings, during which they discussed economic issues including how they can best grow their economies, and make it easier for people to get goods and services in and out of the G20 countries.

They also talked about “climate change” and how to help improve the environment.

The 2014 G20 Summit was held Nov. 15 to 16. About 4,000 delegates (representatives from the various countries) and 2,500 members of the media were at the Summit. Next year, the Summit will be held in Turkey.

Related link
The G20 Summit Australia website.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
What does it mean to be “rebuffed”? Have you ever been “rebuffed” like Putin was, with Harper? How did you react? How did it make you feel?

Reading Prompt: Making Meaning/Interpreting Texts
The article explains that Putin was not very well liked at the G20 meeting. “CBC News reported that Putin was not a popular person at the meeting this year, and that he was seen eating lunch with just one other leader (who sat at the other side of the table, away from him). CBC also reported that Putin was off to the far left of the official photo that is always taken of the G20 leaders at the Summit.”

Can you connect this to how students behave at school towards one another? How is it similar and how is it different?

Would there have been another way for the leaders to behave towards Putin?

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME: Reading, 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME: Reading, 1.6).

Language Feature: Proper Nouns
Nouns (people, places and things) are sometimes written with lower case letters and sometimes they begin with a capital letter. Circle all of the nouns in this article and explain when you capitalize a noun.