Analysis: US-Canada Relations Likely to Improve

By Gillies, Rob | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), November 12, 2015 | Go to article overview

Analysis: US-Canada Relations Likely to Improve


Gillies, Rob, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


TORONTO * U.S.-Canadian relations appeared to get off to a rocky start last month just as Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister.

Almost immediately, he said he would pull Canada's six fighter jets from the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State group. Just weeks later, after Trudeau was sworn in, President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline.

But appearances can be deceiving. Relations are expected to improve dramatically.

Trudeau and Obama share an ideological bond. Both are liberals who believe the government can be a force for good. They will be allies when world leaders and top diplomats come to Paris on Nov. 30 to hash out what organizers hope will be the biggest international deal ever to fight global warming.

And, from the Obama administration's perspective, Trudeau is a vast improvement over his Conservative predecessor, Stephen Harper, who put himself at odds with the president by making Keystone the defining issue in relations between the neighbors.

Trudeau pointedly rejected that: "The Canada-U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project," he said after Obama announced his decision.

Trudeau has said Canada's days of being a less-than-enthusiastic actor on climate change are over. Under Harper, Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol the emissions reduction program for rich countries and Harper was perceived by environmentalists as more interested in protecting oil-rich Alberta than efforts to stem the effects of climate change. …

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