Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians can be “quite certain” of the results of the U.S. election, despite lingering disputes over President-elect Joe Biden’s victory by U.S. President Donald Trump and his campaign.
At a news conference in Ottawa on Monday, Trudeau said Canadians should trust the American electoral process “as it has unfolded.”
“I think people should feel assured that there are experts and systems that have a lot of integrity in the United States. They’re doing their job, sometimes in difficult circumstances,” he said in French.
“Once the declaration was clearly made, which happened over the weekend, we can be quite certain of the results.”
Biden became president-elect on Saturday after winning a stunningly narrow victory over incumbent Trump, according to projections by multiple major news organizations, including the Associated Press (AP).
The AP projected Biden will win at least 290 electoral votes, though there are races in a few states still too close to call and some are likely to see recounts.
Trump has not yet conceded the election. He’s made unfounded accusations of voter fraud and threatened to take the results of some states to the U.S. Supreme Court.
His campaign has insisted that the election is “far from over” and that it will “start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
Trudeau was among several world leaders who offered Biden and his vice-president, Kamala Harris, congratulations on Saturday.
“Our two countries are close friends, partners and allies,” he wrote. “We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”
In a readout of the call, Biden’s transition team said that the president-elect “thanked the Prime Minster for his congratulations and reaffirmed the close bonds between the United States and Canada.”
With the results of many states still considered uncertified, Trudeau was asked whether he spoke too soon about the U.S. election results.
The prime minister doubled-down on his words, saying he was “pleased” to congratulate Biden over the weekend.
“We have great trust in the American electoral and democratic system,” he said.
Trudeau went on to say that Canada will continue to stand up for Canadian jobs and interests on an international scale, and that he will continue to work with the Trump administration until Biden takes over in January.
That cooperation will also include efforts to get Michael Kovrig and Michal Spavor released from Chinese detention.
“President Biden, once he’s sworn into office, will be my third American president,” Trudeau said. “We’ve demonstrated an ability to stand up and defend Canadian interests, which we will do moving forward.”
— with files from Hannah Jackson, the Associated Press and the Canadian Press