Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday March 9, 2016
Trudeau and Obama forging special relationship, White House says
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is winning praise from the White House for his leadership on climate change ahead of this week’s visit to Washington where that issue will be high on the agenda.
In a call with reporters Tuesday morning, officials from President Barack Obama’s administration also noted the personal relationship that is developing between the two leaders.
Obama extended the invitation for a state visit and dinner, the first in 19 years for a Canadian prime minister, when he met Trudeau at the APEC summit late last year.
The officials said Canada and the U.S. always have a close relationship, regardless of who occupies 24 Sussex Drive or 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but they acknowledged Trudeau and Obama have a lot in common.
Trudeau arrives in the U.S. capital Wednesday along with his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and a delegation that includes five cabinet members: Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo.
They will attend a lavish state dinner at the White House on Thursday night after a day of meetings in the Oval Office and at the State Department.
The White House officials discussed the close bilateral relationship between the two countries in terms of trade and defence but they paid particular attention to how Canada and the U.S. are co-operating on the environment file and suggested there is a change in tone since Trudeau defeated former prime minister Stephen Harper in October.
“Since Prime Minister Trudeau assumed office we have also had tremendous co-operation with Canada on climate and clean energy issues,” said Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state, bureau of Western Hemisphere affairs. (Source: CBC News)