In Toronto, Maas was greeted by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, whom he met for a fireside talk, a panel discussion, a common press conference and, last but not least, a short bike tour between meetings. The delegation furthermore learned about the future of Artificial Intelligence at an event hosted by Vector Institute.
In his keynote speech at the Toronto Board of Trade’s Arcadian Loft, Maas stressed the importance of a multilateral approach towards global cooperation and honoured Canada and Minister Freeland as Germany’s distinguished friends and allies (or team mates, in Maas’s own words) in the soon-to-be-founded Alliance of Multilateralists. In a speech full of sports analogies, Maas started his introduction with a reference to Toronto’s Raptors team, referring to international relations as a sports game that requires players to play by the rules.
Climate change was the visit’s other big topic: In the Arctic towns of Iqaluit and Pond Inlet, where threatening consequences of anthropological climate change are inevitable, the Minister’s delegation learned from researchers and locals that severe action must be undertaken in the near future to preserve the Arctic and to counter the effects of climate change.