The Canadian Press
National general news, Wednesday, May 23, 2001
N.B. premier to attend secretive meeting of world's most powerful people
The Canadian Press
SAINT JOHN, N.B. (CP) - Could New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord be one of the 100 most powerful people on Earth?
It seems the organizers of an international conference in Sweden believe the premier wields a great deal of clout.
Lord will be in Sweden on Thursday at the invitation of the exclusive and secretive Bilderberg Group.
The international think-tank hosts a conference every year for 100 of the world's most influential and powerful people to discuss the world's problems.
The conferences are held under an absolute veil of secrecy and tight security, with no media coverage allowed.
Lord is believed to be the youngest person in attendance at this year's conference. On Wednesday, he told reporters he wasn't sure why he was invited.
"What can I tell you? They invited me to this conference," he said.
"I am just very happy to go. Maybe it's the youth, the energy, the potential, the future that they see. I'm not sure."
Lord was vague when asked what topics are up for discussion at the meeting. He said participants would talk about economic trends and links between Europe and the United States. The theme of the conference is: "The Interests to the Atlantic Alliance."
"I feel very fortunate to have been invited. I think this will be a good opportunity for myself and the province of New Brunswick to make contacts and get a sense of some trends which are developing in the world," he said.
A Web site, which claimed to be campaigning for media access to the event, said former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger and media baron Conrad Black will be participating this year.
The site quoted leaked documents as saying participants will discuss topics such as the enlargement of the European Union, the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, agriculture and food safety, as well as Russia and China.
The Bilderberg Group was established in 1954. The original mandate was to strengthen ties between the United States and Europe in the face of a threat from the Soviet Union and communism, the Web site said.
Lord will travel alone to the conference. He usually travels with staff when he leaves the province to attend to government business. He is scheduled to return to New Brunswick on Monday night.
Former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna attended a meeting of the Bilderberg Group in the early 1990s.
(New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal)
Uniform subject(s): Heads of State and heads of government; The press and print media
Subject(s) - The Canadian Press : Economics; International; Politics
Hour of publication: 21:07
Length: Medium, 321 words
© 2001 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
Doc. : news·20010523·CP·1802