Canada knocks Trump’s border plan
OTTAWA/WASHINGTON – Canada on Thursday slammed a United States proposal to deploy troops along their undefended border to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), saying the idea was unnecessary and would damage relations.
The uncompromising comments were a surprise, since Ottawa has enjoyed smooth relations with US President Donald Trump’s administration over the past 18 months. Last week, the two nations agreed to close the border to non-essential travel to ease the outbreak’s strain on health systems.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday evening that Washington had dropped consideration of the plan, citing an unnamed US official. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland had made clear the Liberal government had no time for a plan to send hundreds of troops to the border to boost security.
“Canada is strongly opposed to this US proposal and we have made that opposition very, very clear . . . this is an entirely unnecessary step which we would view as damaging to our relationship,” Freeland told a news conference.