Joe Biden sends a message of unity to the Canadian Parliament
Joe Biden addressed, among other topics, the economy, the war in Ukraine, military collaboration within NORAD and…hockey.
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, on Friday launched a message of unity between Ottawa and Washington by addressing the elected officials of the House of Commons, but also in front of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, the two Canadians who were held by Beijing for over 1000 days.
Americans and Canadians are two peoples, two countries that I believe share the same heart, said Mr. Biden, who was greeted with thunderous applause as he entered the House.
< p class="e-p">He insisted that this partnership has nothing to do with the inevitable of geography, but is the result of ;a choice made continuously.
Because we know that we will not find a better partner, a better ally, such a constant friend, he summed up.
Shortly before, those who are commonly referred to as the two Michaels and who were among the guests in the audience received a warm ovation. This was their first public appearance since their release in September 2021.
The two men were arrested in 2018 in China in what was seen by Canada, the United States and dozens of other allies as retaliation for the arrest days earlier of the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on an extradition warrant from the United States.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who invited Mr. Biden on the microphone for his remarks, highlighted the presence of the two Michaels, describing them as an example of resilience, perseverance and strength. The US President had similar words for the two men, saying he was happy to see them.
US President Joe Biden addresses parliamentarians during his visit to Ottawa.
Both the Canadian Prime Minister and the American President hammered home in their speeches that it was of the utmost importance to continue to support Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.
Both also stressed the importance of tackling climate change, with Trudeau touting green energy investments in the US Inflation Reduction Act .
Mr. Biden noted that many of the electric vehicles for which Americans can get tax credits are assembled in Canada.
The US President took advantage of his speech to officially confirm the agreement reached to expand the scope of the Safe Third Country Agreement with the aim of discouraging irregular migration.
A joint written statement adds that Canada will welcome 15,000 more migrants from the Western Hemisphere over the next year.
Regarding the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the statement indicates that Canada will inject $6.96 billion into the modernization of the surveillance system in the North. Canada will also spend $7.3 billion on aircraft, refueling and airfield improvements in preparation for its acquisition of F-35 fighter jets, and Mr. money will come from planned investments.
And the statement says the energy task force, which will be chaired by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and the U.S. Presidential Special Coordinator for Global Infrastructure, will focus on renewable energy, electric vehicles, critical minerals and nuclear power.
The statement also commits both countries to achieving the goal of net-zero electric grids by 2035 and build a network of electric vehicle chargers on both sides of the border.
MM. Biden, Trudeau condemn Russia's war in Ukraine, say China poses serious long-term challenge to international order, but announce no new measures for Haiti despite acknowledgment of deterioration security of the country.
The Prime Minister of Canada addresses parliamentarians during the visit of US President Joe Biden to Ottawa.
The President of the United States has arrived on Parliament Hill, late Friday morning, with many topics to discuss for his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau.
Both clean energy and irregular migration and economic growth were on the agenda.
The current US president's last visit to Canada was in 2016, when he was vice president. His first stint on Canadian soil as incumbent president was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, Mr Biden claimed it had been too long before he could make it to Canada and the United States was lucky to have such a country as a neighbor.
Trudeau said economic issues, climate change and geopolitical security issues would mark their conversations.
Biden's visit comes as the Trudeau government faces a multiple allegations of Chinese interference reported by the Global Network and the Globe and Mail which, citing unnamed intelligence sources, report attempts to interfere in the federal election from 2019 and 2021.
Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien did not want to say, in a press scrum, if he was of the opinion that a public and independent investigation should be launched. The latter was also among those invited by the parliamentarians on the occasion of Mr. Biden's speech.
There's someone just appointed to decide that. I'm not for doing his job!, launched Mr. Chrétien in reference to the former governor general David Johnston, appointed special rapporteur on foreign interference.
Pressed with questions, he argued that many unknowns remain in this case and seemed to imply that the allegations were not a major issue.
If that's the biggest problem we have in Canada, we are on the best shape. Did they interfere in the elections? I don't know, he added.
In the evening, the Bidens are to join the Trudeaus and other distinguished guests for a meal at the Museum of History. #x27;Canada's Aviation and Space Agency.
The brief visit results in multi-level security throughout the capital, with the RCMP, US Secret Service and the provincial police installed in the parliamentary precincts and around the two airports closest to the city.
Several streets are closed and official planes have flown over the city in preparation for this 27-hour whirlwind tour.