Top 5 Obama moments from his first-ever trip to Montreal
It was a short visit, but Obama gave Montrealers a lot to talk about
Barack Obama opened his speech in Montreal with an ode to the future; his hopes and visions not only for Canada, or the U.S., but the world.
After his speech he sat down for a question-and-answer session with Sophie Brochu, president and CEO of Quebec energy provider Gaz Métro.
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Here were some of our favourite moments:
When he spoke French
The former president opened his speech with a warm thank you to Canada and a shout-out to Montreal on its 375th birthday.
"Bon anniversaire," Obama said, with some hesitance.
Not too shabby.
He also threw in a "merci." But when Brochu greeted him by saying "bonsoir," he paused for a moment, then uttered a sheepish "thank you" in English.
Obama said one of his favourite things about Montreal is that there are a large number of Michelles here — which also happens to be the name of his wife.
After the speech, Obama went for dinner with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (who did not attend the speech) at Liverpool House, a popular restaurant in Montreal's Southwest borough.
No word yet if Obama ordered in French or English.
How do we get young leaders to take action in their communities? Thanks <a href="https://twitter.com/BarackObama">@BarackObama</a> for your visit & insights tonight in my hometown. <a href="https://t.co/EwJXPEkN3w">pic.twitter.com/EwJXPEkN3w</a>—@JustinTrudeau
When he advocated for women's rights
Obama also used his wife as an opportunity to talk about women's rights.
"I'm married to an extraordinary woman, [we have] extraordinary daughters" he told Brochu.
Brochu wanted to know if he thought someone in his family would ever shatter the glass ceiling, and become the first woman president.
"In my lifetime we will see a woman president of the United States," Obama predicted.
"I don't know who that will be but I believe that will happen."
Both the president and his wife have been strong proponents of women's rights.
When he complimented Canada
"My bonds with Canada are deep," the ex-president said at the top of his speech.
He then listed a few things he likes about Canada: holding the first state dinner with the country in over 20 years; hosting his "good friends" Justin and Sophie Trudeau last year; his Canadian brother-in-law from Burlington; the long-lasting alliance between the two countries.
He also praised Canada's immigration policy.
"It's important to establish processes to make sure that we reaffirm that we are nations of immigrants, that it creates dynamism in our economies, that it strengthens rather than weakens us."
He added: "You should be congratulated for that."
When he criticized fake news
"We're going to have to find a way to push back on propaganda," said Obama.
One of the points Obama raised at the beginning of his speech was the role of technology and news.
In an era of instant communication and constant information, he said, it can be tempting to filter, and hear only what we want to hear.
"We're in an environment where we are only accepting information that fits our opinions, rather than basing our opinions on the facts we receive," Obama said.
When he talked about climate change
No surprise here.
Last week, Obama took a not-so-subtle jab at President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. from the Paris climate-change accord.
He took another one in his speech on Tuesday.
"We came together around the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change. An agreement that even with the temporary absence of American leadership will still give our children a fighting chance," he said.
On the subject of children, the former leader of the U.S said his daughters and future granddaughters were his source of inspiration when it came to "fighting climate change."
With files from Molly Kohli