Barack Obama to speak in Montreal today

Published On June 6, 2017 | By Jaeybee Martinito | Business, News, Politics

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a discussion at the German Protestant Kirchentag in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

By: Michael Piccoli

Barack Obama will be making a speech in Montreal this evening at the Palais de Congrès.

Thousands are expected to attend Obama’s first speech in Canada since he left the White House on Jan. 20, 2017.

Guillaume Bérubé, media relations advisor for The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, organizing body for the event, gave Humber News the details.

“We don’t know what he will talk about,” he said.  “It has been sold out for several days.  The discussion for this event started many months ago and he [Obama] picked this month.”

The event sold 6,000 tickets, and seats available to the general public were sold out within 15 minutes.

“The price range of all tickets was $50-$370,” Bérubé said.  “Some were resold on different platforms for much larger amounts.  The Chamber of Commerce wanted this event to be accessible to all.  We have hosted many events throughout the years, and they range from 800 people to thousands.”

“Security would be what the client requested,” he added, regarding extra precautions for the former president.

Bérubé confirmed that Obama will be paid for the speech, but would not reveal a figure. In the past, Obama has received as much as a U.S. $400,000 speaking fee.

Obama is set to speak for 30 minutes, followed by a 30 minute question-and-answer session.

Many people are wondering if Obama will speak about current issues involving Donald Trump.  When he spoke in Chicago in April, he did not mention the current U.S. president’s name at all.

Local Montreal hotels Humber News contacted said the area is busy at the moment but that it could be a result of the upcoming Canadian F1 Grand Prix event that will take place this week in the city.

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