Barack Obama speaks with Greater Vancouver Board of Trade president Iain Black at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Mar. 5, 2019. (Greater Vancouver Board of Trade photo)

Eight quotes from former U.S. president Barack Obama’s visit to B.C.

Event in Vancouver was the 44th president’s third stop in Canada on a tour through the country

Former U.S. president Barack Obama rounded out his cross-Canada tour with a stop in Vancouver Tuesday, where he remarked on climate change, globalization and his time in office alongside his family.

At Black Press Media, we took our favourite comments the 44th president made during his Q-and-A with Greater Vancouver Board of Trade president Iain Black.

READ MORE: Obama urges B.C. crowd to take action on climate change

“I had to figure out how to use a coffee maker.” – On one of the daily challenges during his transition out of the White House after eight years as president.

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“When you’re president, you see how much work is required to keep the whole thing afloat, which is why it is really good to have competent people in there.” – On how the role of the United States in global trade between nations.

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“The point is we should be friends and allies, and frankly the nature of the tensions that exist between us, on the stage of global politics, are incidental.” – On the cross-border relationship between Canada and the U.S.

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“Dude, I got Syria.” – Obama’s response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during what he described as one of their biggest disagreements as political leaders. Trudeau wanted to discuss ongoing timber agreements.

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“This is coming, and I have two daughters who in their lifetime will see these effects. I don’t have grandchildren yet, but for those of you who do, it will make life very difficult for them even if they are wealthy and can somehow exploit themselves temporarily.” – On the impending consequences if country leaders do not take action to curb burning of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions.

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“I was a little cocky when I was younger, but you know what? She liked it.” – In response to how Michelle Obama describes her husband in her book ‘Becoming.’

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“If you are so woke, as they say, that you cannot listen to someone who, I guess, is unwoke, how are you supposed to wake them up?” – On remaining open to debate, alternate ways of thinking and returning to the facts.

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“If you had to be born in any moment in human history and you didn’t know who you were going to be, male or female, what nationality, what race or religion – you’d have to choose now. Because the world has never been wealthier, better educated, healthier, less violent, more tolerant than it is today. That’s hard to believe because there are still many problems out there, but it indicates that the trajectory of human progress has been significant and extraordinary.” – On youth today and growing up in the current state of society.


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