Canada plays host starting Friday to the leaders of the G7 countries. Here are some quick details about the six leaders who will be meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
France: Emmanuel Macron
In current office since: 2017
Party: La Republique En Marche!, which Macron founded, has been described as centrist, social democratic and liberal.
Born in: Amiens, France.
Spouse: Brigitte Macron.
Pre-politics profession: Civil servant and investment banker.
Seniority within the G7: The second-least experienced member, ahead of Italy’s Giuseppe Conte but behind Donald Trump, who assumed office in early 2017.
G7 quote: “We must not fall apart. The other six G7 countries are a market that is bigger than the American market.”
Fact unrelated to G7: Macron’s dog Nemo, who he brings to work, was once caught on camera urinating on a fireplace in the Elysee Palace while Macron met with some cabinet ministers.
Germany: Angela Merkel
In current office since: 2005
Party: Christian Democratic Union, a centre-right coalition.
Born in: Hamburg, Germany (The city was in West Germany at the time, but Merkel’s family moved to East Germany when she was only a few months old).
Spouse: Joachim Sauer.
Pre-politics profession: Physicist.
Seniority within the G7: Merkel is the longest-tenured leader in the G7, making her the most senior leader of the group.
G7 quote: “It is apparent that we have a serious problem with multilateral agreements here, and so there will be contentious discussions.”
Fact unrelated to G7: Merkel, who reportedly was bitten by a dog in 1995, quipped that Vladimir Putin’s dog “doesn’t eat journalists, after all,” after the Russian leader said the dog would behave itself upon entering the duo’s first meeting after Merkel became chancellor.
Italy: Giuseppe Conte
In current office since: Last Friday after the two largest parties in the Italian legislature agreed on Conte as a compromise candidate for prime minister, breaking a political deadlock that followed the March 4 national election.
Party: Five Star Movement, a populist right-wing party, which joined a coalition with the Lega party to form government.
Born in: Volturara Appula, Italy.
Spouse: He and his wife are separated. They have a 10-year-old son.
Pre-politics profession: Professor of law.
Seniority within the G7: Having just assumed office, Conte is the most junior member of the group. The G7 is also his first international trip.
G7 quote: “Italy’s first position will be to make itself known, the latter to be respected.”
Fact unrelated to G7: A law professor, Conte has been accused of embellishing his academic history, including roles at New York University, University of Malta and the Sorbonne in Paris. He has denied all accusations of embellishment.
Japan: Shinzo Abe
In current office since: 2012 (although he also served as Japanese prime minister from 2006 to 2007)
Party: Liberal Democratic, which can be described as conservative in its policies. Abe’s maternal grandfather, former Japanese prime minister Nobusuke Kishi, helped form the party in 1955.
Born in: Tokyo, Japan.
Spouse: Akie Abe.
Pre-politics profession: Political aide and worker in a steel plant.
Seniority within the G7: Abe is second in seniority to Merkel, and is serving his fourth term as Japanese prime minister.
G7 quote: “No country benefits from retaliatory trade restrictions…. My message is (the) G7 should play a role in free and fair global economic development.”
Fact unrelated to G7: Just last month, Abe delivered Olympic gold medal figure skater Alina Zagitova a three-month-old Akita puppy because the Russian teen requested to get one of the Japanese breed if he brought home a medal.
United States: Donald Trump
In current office since: 2017
Born in: New York City.
Spouse: Melania Trump.
Pre-politics profession: Real estate developer, businessman and television personality.
Seniority within the G7: Trump is the third most junior leader of the G7, ahead of Macron and Conte, but heads the largest economy and is arguably the biggest voice at the table.
G7 quote: “Isn’t it Ironic? Getting ready to go to the G-7 in Canada to fight for our country on Trade (we have the worst trade deals ever made), then off to Singapore to meet with North Korea & the Nuclear Problem…But back home we still have the 13 Angry Democrats pushing the Witch Hunt!”
Fact unrelated to G7: Trump has a few television and movie credits to his name beyond “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” including “Zoolander,” “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” and an episode of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” where he quipped, “I like keeping a low profile,” and later, “everybody is always blaming me for everything.”
United Kingdom: Theresa May
In current office since: 2016
Born in: Eastbourne, Sussex, England.
Spouse: Philip May.
Pre-politics profession: Worked at the Bank of England and the British agency that manages payment systems.
Seniority within the G7: May is right in the middle, behind Trudeau and ahead of Trump.
G7 quote: A readout of May’s call with Trudeau last month noted, “The leaders had a broad discussion about the upcoming G7, including the importance of G7 action to tackle hostile state activity.”
Fact unrelated to G7: May, who had two dogs as a child, introduced new licensing rules for breeders set to come into force this year to crack down on puppy mills and, as she put it, “do everything we can to eradicate animal cruelty from our society.”
The Canadian Press