'It's not about popularity:' Trudeau, Macron meet in Paris amid lagging polls
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday defended their shared efforts to ease the worries of anxious citizens and denounced those seeking to capitalize on such fears.
Standing together in the regal ballroom of the Palais Elysee following their second face-to-face meeting in a month, the two leaders acknowledged that many people in Canada, France and elsewhere are nervous about their future.
Macron said that anxiety has been compounded by a rise in digital technology that has threatened jobs, as well as the looming threat of climate challenge and concerns about immigration.
The French leader said that's led to a rise in isolationism and a decline in political discourse.
The leaders, who have often been described as kindred spirits, touted their shared attempts at home and abroad to address those fears, even as they faced questions over whether their message is resonating with their respective voters.
Without naming anyone in particular, both leaders singled out for blame those Trudeau described as trying "to amplify or echo back those fears to people without actually offering solutions.''