Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will be watching “part” of tonight’s United States election, but is prepared to continue working with the U.S. regardless of who wins.
“I will certainly watch part of them,” Trudeau told reporters Tuesday, adding that there was a possibility the results would not be determined on election night.
“Canada is well-positioned and ready to continue to work with the American people and the American government, regardless of the outcomes of tonight,” he said.
“We’re going to continue to watch and make sure we’re standing up for Canadian interests every step of the way, but we will allow the American elections, obviously, to unfold as they will and Canada will watch.”
When it comes to the novel coronavirus, Trudeau said Canada was “extremely lucky” that all levels of government and at least, “for the most part” all political parties came together to develop the country’s pandemic response.
In the U.S., however, Trudeau noted the “significant political debate” around how to best tackle the crisis.
“Obviously, that is something that is at play in this election,” he said.
Following Trump’s election, the federal government contended with renegotiating NAFTA and pushing back against tariffs from the U.S. on steel and aluminum.
“There are choices made by American presidents that are the reflection of movements and expressions of will within the American people,” Trudeau said.
His comments come during a significant period for the U.S.
Republican President Donald Trump is squaring off against Democratic challenger and former vice-president Joe Biden, who as of Monday held an eight percentage point lead, according to the latest data from Ipsos polling.
The two candidates hold significantly different visions for the future of the country, with Trump refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses. By Saturday, more than 90 million Americans had already voted, according to a tally from the U.S. Elections Project.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland also said that Canada will “absolutely respect the choice that the American people are making today,” and is prepared “to work effectively with whoever they choose.”
She said Canada has “thoughtfully prepared for all eventualities,” that would extend to Canadians living in the United States as well.
“It’s a reality for Canada that every Canadian government needs to be a specialist when working with the United States,” Freeland said.
“I am really confident we have a plan no matter what happens.”
While the Liberal government has indicated its willingness to work with whoever is elected, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has taken a different approach, urging Americans to vote Trump out on Twitter.
“VOTE HIM OUT,” the tweet read.
“Trump makes the world a more dangerous place for all of us and I hope to see him lose,” the tweet read.
Data from the Pew Research Center found that Canadians favourable view of the U.S. had dropped to 35 per cent in 2020, down from the two-thirds it was when former U.S. President Barack Obama held office in 2016, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s a bit like watching your neighbour’s roof catch fire,” Perrin Beatty, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, told the Canadian Press.
“You’re both fascinated and horrified.”