The Baton Passes to Canada: The Muskoka G8 2010 Gets Off the Ground
2010 is to be the year of Canada, the country to which the G8 presidency baton now passes after Italy's year at the helm. Industry Minister Tony Clement first launched the Canadian G8's official logo back in September. The summit will be held in the municipal district of Muskoka, in central Ontario, a region with a surface area of almost 6,500 sq. km and a stable population of some 50,000 people. Its 1,600 lakes make it a popular holiday venue, with over 2 million visitors every year. The spectacular natural scenery provides the perfect backdrop for the myriad picturesque towns and villages, farms, country clubs, golf clubs, and yacht clubs on the lakes, that dot the whole area.
The logo shows a pine tree with windswept branches but whose trunk is solidly rooted in the rock. "The image embodies the spirit of the Muskoka region", Minister Clement explained when presenting the logo. He went on to stress that: "hosting such a prestigious event is not just an honour, it also offers us a major opportunity for acquainting" a broader audience "with Canada and with the Muskoka region".
In the meantime, Mr. Lawrence Cannon, Canada's minister for foreign affairs, has announced the first of the meetings on the Canadian presidency's agenda. The G8 group's foreign ministers will be meeting at Château Cartier in Gatineau, Quebec, on 29 and 30 March 2010. The Canadian foreign minister called this first meeting "an opportunity to make a difference and to influence the international agenda by working with our allies on creating a safer world for each one of us". This initial ministerial meeting will be devoted to a debate on the most important issues connected with transnational security and peace, while the ministers will continue to pursue the promotion of respect for freedom, democracy and human rights.