David Kawai/Bloomberg through Getty Images
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turned down an invite to the White House this week, it despatched a message in keeping with the present temper in Canada: This is just not a very good time to journey between Canada and the United States — with the coronavirus nonetheless surging in elements of America — to fulfill with President Trump.
The White House had floated the potential for an occasion with Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday to mark this month’s begin of a brand new commerce deal, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Mexico’s chief is already on his approach.
On Monday, Trudeau’s spokesperson, Chantal Gagnon, mentioned in an announcement that the prime minister would stay in Ottawa this week “for scheduled Cabinet meetings and the long-planned sitting of Parliament.”
Trudeau mentioned final week that Canada was discussing with the United States whether or not a summit “makes sense.” His administration was troubled by the specter of new U.S. tariffs on Canadian metal and aluminum, he mentioned, including that “we’re also concerned about the health situation and the coronavirus reality that is still hitting all three of our countries.”
Canada has reported greater than 107,000 confirmed circumstances of the coronavirus and greater than 8,700 associated deaths as of Tuesday, in line with data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. However, new every day numbers have fallen to ranges seen in March, whereas new circumstances within the United States are surging above the nation’s April peak. On Tuesday, Canada counted 399 new circumstances, in contrast with almost 50,000 within the U.S., in line with Our World in Data, a analysis venture on the University of Oxford.
The U.S. and Canada have partially closed their shared border since March to forestall the unfold of the virus. The guidelines do permit for diplomatic journeys and different journey deemed important.
A big majority of Canadians, throughout a large cross part of society, suppose the journey restrictions ought to keep in impact “for the foreseeable future,” in line with Nik Nanos of Nanos Research, a public opinion agency. Its new ballot shows 81% of Canadians need to preserve the partial border closure.
“Canadians looking south see chaos,” mentioned Chris Sands, director of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, together with confusion across the state-by-state reopening and rising case numbers. “They’re just nervous.”
That Trudeau’s not trying to journey to the United States “shouldn’t be a surprise,” Nanos mentioned.
“The prime minister has put a very high premium on leading by example, everything from wearing a face mask at press conferences through to social distancing,” he mentioned. Trudeau is trying “to avoid engaging in any activities which would be inconsistent with what he’s asking average Canadians to do.”
For instance, most vacationers arriving in Canada should self-quarantine for 14 days, and police have carried out spot checks to make sure compliance.
The border restrictions, prolonged till at the very least July 21, have additionally separated some households. On Monday, members of Congress from northern U.S. border states called for easing journey for folks with relations or property on the alternative aspect of the border.
Trudeau additionally has nothing to realize from a White House go to now, mentioned Nelson Wiseman, political science professor emeritus on the University of Toronto.
“Trudeau loses in Canadian public opinion to be seen chumming around with a very unpopular Trump,” he mentioned.
If Trump loses November’s election, Wiseman predicted, “I don’t expect they will ever meet again.”