Trudeau at secretive conference known as ‘summer camp for billionaires’

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Justin Trudeau will spend his day trying to sell Canada as a great place to do business to some of the world’s biggest technology and media moguls.

The prime minister is in Sun Valley, Idaho, at an annual conference for the global business elite.

Details about the gathering, hosted by the American investment firm Allen & Company, are typically kept secret, but insiders have described the event as “summer camp for billionaires.”

Cameron Ahmed, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, said Trudeau “is attending the conference with the goal of attracting investment to Canada.”

But not much else is known about what is on Trudeau’s agenda.

The trip was announced by the PMO with less than 24 hours’ notice and the conference is closed to the media.

Trudeau to meet with investors

A senior government source told The Canadian Press that Trudeau is going for the same reason he went to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and to New York.

The source said Trudeau was invited to speak to the largest investors in the world, who he will try to convince to spend some of their money in Canada.


Billionaire Bill Gates, chairman and founder of Microsoft Corp., and his wife Melinda at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference last year. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The guest list is confidential, but reports suggest Microsoft founder Bill Gates will be there, along with business magnate Warren Buffet, Facebook chairman and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

The exclusive meeting has been the setting for the beginning of corporate deals over the years, including the $4.4-billion sale of AOL to Verizon.

Trudeau is not the first Canadian prime minister to attend this event.

In 2004, newly elected Liberal leader Paul Martin flew to Idaho, shortly after winning a minority government.

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Trudeau at secretive conference known as ‘summer camp for billionaires’

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