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Quebec keeps close eye on U.S. election results as presidency hangs in balance

Click to play video: 'Americans in Montreal remain anxious while awaiting election results' Americans in Montreal remain anxious while awaiting election results
WATCH: Many Americans living in Montreal were on edge on Wednesday, while awaiting the results of the presidential election. Global’s Tim Sargeant caught up with a few to get their reaction – Nov 4, 2020

Quebec is keeping a close eye on the results of the American election as the outcome of the U.S. presidency continues to hang in the balance.

Premier François Legault took to social media Wednesday morning, where he said he is aware of the preliminary results in the close race as votes are still being counted.

“We will be watching this closely until the final result,” he said. “We will continue to work hard to make our relationship prosper, no matter which president Americans choose.”

The statement comes after Legault cautiously said Tuesday that he hoped that there would be no uncertainty surrounding the results on who will lead the neighbouring country.

There remains no clear winner after U.S. election day, with votes still being tabulated after a night with a race too close to call.

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President Donald Trump has claimed victory — though falsely — as millions of ballots are still being counted in battleground states. In a speech from the White House, he claimed “we will win this.”

Read more: No winner yet in U.S. election, but Trump claims victory as Biden waits for final tally

Trump also called for a stop to all voting, though only counting remains after polls closed.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden said he will wait for the final results, but told supporters to “keep the faith.”

The uncertainty of the who will next lead the country is hanging over the head of Americans and dual citizens living in Quebec as well.

Jeniene Phillips, a dual citizen who currently lives in Westmount, mailed in her ballot Oct. 9.

She is hoping to see a change in the White House, but she admitted she is upset that the race is tight.

“I’m angry that the results are this close,” she said. “And the reason I’m angry is because it means that there is potentially 44 to 48 per cent of Americans that see the current leadership very differently than I do.”

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Sean Hart, a former Montrealer who now lives in Florida, voted for Biden. When asked about the results, he described it as “unbelievable.”

“I’m surprised that many Americans voted for Trump,” he told Global News. “After everything that’s been going on for the past eight months, past four years actually.”

Click to play video: 'Quebec politicians react as they await results, one day after American election' Quebec politicians react as they await results, one day after American election
Quebec politicians react as they await results, one day after American election – Nov 4, 2020

 

‘It’s not over yet’

The Legault government has said it will respect the decision of Americans, but other elected officials in Quebec’s provincial legislature expressed concern about the uncertainty Wednesday.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a co-spokesperson for left-leaning Québec solidaire, emphasized that counting isn’t over yet but he weighed in on Trump’s claim of victory.

“Well, one thing is for certain, is that the strength of his candidacy and of his movement is disturbing, and it has to be a warning for us,” he said.

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Click to play video: 'The world continues to follow U.S. election eagerly' The world continues to follow U.S. election eagerly
The world continues to follow U.S. election eagerly – Nov 4, 2020

“It has to be a warning about what can happen if we don’t take good care of our democracy and of our democratic conversation.”

Pascal Bérubé with the Parti Québécois said Trump has been “on the attack since day one.” He also likened the election to an episode of House of Cards.

“He likes to win. He considers himself as a total winner, never loses,” Bérubé said. “So, he’s a fighter, and he is something and it’s frightening for us, you can imagine how it’s frightening for the American citizens.

“So, we’ll wait and see. It’s not over yet.”

Montreal mayor throws support behind Biden

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced her endorsement of the Biden-Harris ticket late Tuesday, as voting was still under across the U.S.

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She said on Twitter the city’s eyes were glued to the American election.

“Good luck Joe Biden,” Plante wrote. “Kamala Harris, your high school city is rooting for you.”

The U.S. vice-presidential candidate and California senator spent part of her teenage years in Montreal. Harris attended Westmount High School.

Read more: Canada faces political, economic instability after U.S election result remains uncertain

— With files from Global News, The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

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