During a recent interview with a Montreal radio station, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said that the federal government will be prepared regardless of who wins the presidency to ensure the relationship between Canada and the US remains strong.
“We must certainly prepare several scenarios,” she said, citing the fact that the two nations are linked not only physically, but politically and economically as well.
“I will work with my colleagues and with the mayors, the provincial premiers, with the business community, with the unions, with everyone in the country, so that we are ready regardless of the election outcome.”
Joly added that the “game plan” was developed “precisely to be able to manage what could be a rather difficult situation” if Republicans, namely Donald Trump, take power south of the 49th parallel. She recalled the Liberals’ experience with the previous administration, pointing to its America-first policies regarding trade with Canada as an area of contention.
According to the latest polls, Trump has a commanding lead over his opponents within the Republican Party, and has on many ocassions beat Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2020 rematch.
In response to Joly’s comments, University of Ottawa national security professor Thomas Juneau told the Canadian Press that he has not seen any other country publicly announcing that they are developing such “game plans,” and predicted Canada and its allies would be “very, very discreet” about it going forward.
Juneau said he feared that the US could, in fact, become “increasingly authoritarian” and “increasingly unilateral and dismissive of traditional alliances,” and suggested that beyond economic and political ramifications of a shift to the right in the US, Canada may face an influx of political refugees.
Among the issues that Canada has been at odds with the US on is gender ideology. In March, a petition calling on the Trudeau Liberals to make it easier for transgender and non-binary people facing “persecution” in their home countries due to “eliminatiomist laws” garnered over 130,000 signatures.
As CBC reports, the woman who launched the petition said she did so after speaking with friends in the US who told her they were preparing to leave the country in response to legislation passed by numerous states protecting women’s sports and cracking down on gender ideolgoy. Under current immigration laws, Canada already allows such people to apply for asylum.