Does the World Economic Forum influence governments like Canada’s? – KION546
By Daniel Otis, CTVNews.ca Editor
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Toronto, Canada (CTV Network) — The 51st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum wrapped up Thursday in the luxurious Alpine town of Davos, Switzerland. Private jets have chased away billionaires, world leaders and business moguls, but conspiracy theories about the elite and influential lobbying organization persist.
Conspiracy theorists say the World Economic Forum (WEF) is pulling the levers of global power. Some even accuse him of using or even orchestrating the COVID-19 pandemic to restructure societies in favor of multinational corporations and left-wing global elites through a project called “The Great Reset”. It is claimed that the influence of the World Economic Forum extends to Ottawa and the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Roland Paris, professor and director of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, says that “none of these concerns are legitimate”.
“The WEF brings people together for discussions,” Paris told CTVNews.ca. “It may have pretensions as an organization that produces political ideas, but it has little or no influence on government policy.”
In Canada, former MP Maxime Bernier and Conservative leadership hopeful Pierre Poilievre have repeatedly targeted the World Economic Forum and “The Great Reset,” accusing it of serving a globalist agenda at the expense of ordinary Canadians.
“I have made it clear that my ministers in my government will be banned from attending the World Economic Forum,” Poilievre, an Ontario MP, said to applause in a May 23 Federal Conservative leadership campaign video. “Work for Canada!” If you want to go to Davos, to this conference, make it a one-way ticket. But you cannot be part of our government and work for a political program that goes against the interests of our people.
While the World Economic Forum has long been the subject of legitimate criticism over global inequality and elite influence, these criticisms were confounded into full-fledged conspiracy theories in June 2020, when the World Economic Forum held a meeting annually as “The Great Reset”. Although short on specifics, an article published that month by economist, engineer and World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab argued that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic could be used to make economies more sustainable. and fair through “a ‘great reset’ of capitalism. ”
“I think part of the reason it got so much attention was because of the title ‘The Great Reset’ and because it outlined an agenda,” Robert O’Brien, a political science professor at the University McMaster in Hamilton, Ontario. , told CTVNews.ca. “I think that was a red flag for conspiracy theorists and far-right nationalists.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then apparently added fuel to the conspiracy fire at a United Nations conference in September 2020 by saying that “the pandemic has provided an opportunity to reset” and to “reimagine economic systems” .
Videos also emerged online of Schwab praising Trudeau. At Davos in 2016, Schwab said of Trudeau, “I couldn’t imagine anyone representing more of the world that will come out of this fourth industrial revolution.
Speaking at Harvard University in 2017, Schwab also said that Trudeau and more than “half of his cabinet” are young global leaders from the World Economic Forum: a program that promotes promising leaders between the ages of 30 and 20. 40 years. Singh, Andrew Scheer and Rona Ambrose.
“We’re getting into the closets,” Schwab boasted at Harvard.
Angela Merkel, Tony Blair, Emmanuel Macron, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Ivanka Trump also participated in the program.
Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Michelle Rempel Garner was named a Young Global Leader in 2016 and later attended a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2018.
In February 2022, Rempel Garner responded to the continued harassment of Canadian conspiracy theorists with an op-ed titled, “I went to Davos. The World Economic Forum does not run Canada.
“The WEF is certainly elitist, but, in my eyes, it is far from a cabal bent on world domination,” Rempel Garner wrote. “And while I don’t support Justin Trudeau, I would bet that Canadian electoral politics and personal ambition have a lot more impact on his political decisions than Klaus Schwab.”
David Black, associate professor of communication and culture at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, describes the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos as “an elite chat room”.
“Is the WEF an organization with intellectual influence and an opportunity for elites to network? Yes,” Black told CTVNews.ca. “Is it about controlling sovereign governments around the world? Nope.”
John Baird, another Tory MP and former cabinet minister, was also a young world leader from the World Economic Forum who later attended meetings in Davos. Baird is currently Poilievre’s campaign co-chair.
“He knows better, but he clearly panders to a segment of the population that distrusts institutions and falls in love with conspiracy theories,” Paris, of the University of Ottawa, said of Poilievre.
“It really shows his populist leanings,” said O’Brien of McMaster University. “It worries me that he is basing part of his program to be the next leader of the Conservative Party, and maybe, who knows, one day prime minister of the country, on appealing to these fringe views.”
It can be argued that the World Economic Forum is elitist and detached, but there is no credible evidence that it controls world governments.
“The current wave of conservative populism argues that these institutions seek to manipulate public opinion, as well as control the wealth and political power of the average person for the benefit of elites,” explained Black of Royal Roads University. “In effect, these institutions are imagined as a kind of secret, unelected government, and the real, unaccountable centers of power in the world.”
“It’s a discussion forum; you know, no decision is made there,” O’Brien said of the World Economic Forum. “The only people who should be afraid of it are people who are afraid of the exchange of ideas.”
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