Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator –Tuesday November 11, 2016
The Issues Facing Canada If Trump Or Clinton Win
Canada’s neighbour elects a new president Tuesday with either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to take up residence in the White House. Each are proposing different agendas for the U.S. that pose questions, opportunities and challenges to cross-border relations.
Hillary Clinton is a known quantity to Canadian officials from her time as a U.S. senator and secretary of state, which has also given her an understanding of Canada’s role in the world, says Gordon Giffin, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada: “Sometimes there’s too much focus on what we sell back and forth across the 49th parallel and not enough attention to the fact that Canada is quite engaged with the United States all over the world on issues and principles and values that we share. And she knows all of that, so she starts from a pretty strong foundation of engagement with Canada.’’
As a self-described outsider of American politics, Donald Trump would have few connections to the Liberal government in the Great White North. Trudeau would have to build a relationship with a man who he has suggested holds different values than himself. And Trump has bashed Canada at various points during the campaign, specifically on health care. Political relationships would be built from scratch. But Trump does have economic advisers familiar with Canada who could guide Trump in cross-border issues, Brock says.
Despite Canada’s best efforts, Canadian interests could be sidelined while Clinton deals with more pressing domestic issues like resistance to her supreme court nominees and congressional Republicans who will work to thwart her agenda at every turn. Coupled with her international obligations like involvement in the Middle East and Asia, Clinton may be hard-pressed to find a lot of time for major new issues in the Canada-U.S. Relationship.
Given Canadian public opinion polls that show respondents favour Clinton over Trump, it’s not farfetched to say the Liberals are hoping the Republican candidate doesn’t win on Tuesday. Giffin says a Trump presidency wouldn’t be a fatal blow to Canada-U.S. relations: The relationship may be a little rough at the outset based on Trump’s tough stances on trade and immigration, but would smooth out over time. Giffin says the relationship itself is bigger than any one president: “It has a momentum and a centre of gravity that sort of drags an administration towards engagement with Canada, which is good.’’ (Huffington Post)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 28, 2016
Barack Obama to make case for Hillary Clinton, his legacy
President Barack Obama’s three Democratic convention speeches have, in succession, launched his national career, thrust him into the Oval Office and secured him a second term. On Wednesday, he’ll work during his fourth marquee convention address to ensure those earlier efforts weren’t for naught.
In his prime-time pitch for Hillary Clinton, and during a heavy campaign schedule this fall, Obama plans to argue not only for the Democratic nominee, but for the progressive policies that he’s spent the last eight years enacting — an agenda that will depend largely on his successor to maintain.
His message, according to those helping him prepare for the speech: Don’t flush everything away with Donald Trump.
Obama plans to draw on his long and complicated relationship with Clinton, which began as a rivalry but has evolved into what the pair hopes can become the first elected Democrat-to-Democrat presidential transition in modern history.
In pre-convention interviews, Obama has been frank about his relationship with Clinton, admitting they aren’t “bosom buddies.”
“We don’t go vacationing together,” Obama said during a CBS interview Sunday. “I think that I’ve got a pretty clear-eyed sense of both her strengths and her weaknesses. And what I would say would be that this is somebody who knows as much about domestic and foreign policy as anybody.”
“She’s not always flashy. And there are better speech-makers,” he said. “But she knows her stuff.”
Many top Republicans skipped their party’s convention last week, fearing links to Trump. But Democratic convention organizers had a wealth of willing speakers, programming prime-time speeches from high-profile and well-liked Democrats like Obama, Vice President Joe Biden (who also speaks Wednesday), first lady Michelle Obama, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
President George W. Bush skipped his party’s 2008 meeting and wasn’t a major presence on the campaign trail for Sen. John McCain. Obama, conversely, is expected to spend most of October on the campaign trail for Clinton, working to encourage the coalition of voters — formed of young people and minorities — to vote this time around.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll this month showed Obama’s approval at 56% — the highest point since early in his first term. (Source: CNN)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday May 25, 2016
Trudeau to take day off during Japan trip to celebrate wedding anniversary
Justin Trudeau’s trip to Japan for bilateral talks and the Group of Seven summit will be about more than just business.
The prime minister isn’t planning to hold any meetings or events Wednesday, so he can celebrate his 11th wedding anniversary with his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
The couple will spend the night at a traditional Japanese inn — or ryokan — before Trudeau heads to the G7 summit on Thursday in the country’s Ise-Shima region.
“The fact of the matter is we’ve been working extremely hard today and will be at the G7 meetings on Thursday and Friday, and in the middle of all this, I’m taking a moment to celebrate — on personal funds — my wedding anniversary with my wife,” Trudeau said of the down time when asked during a news conference whether it would cost taxpayers anything, including the potential financial burden of idle staffers.
“This is the kind of work-life balance that I’ve often talked about as being essential in order to be able to be in service of the country with all one’s very best and that’s certainly something I’m going to continue to make sure we do.”
Grégoire Trudeau accompanied the prime minister Tuesday in Tokyo during visits to the Meiji Shrine and with the Japanese emperor and empress at the Imperial Palace.
She also joined him Tuesday evening for dinner with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Trudeau held working meetings earlier in the day with Abe and executives from the Japanese auto sector. (Source: CBC News)
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)