‘We’re Lucky We Have Canada,’ Biden Says as Bilateral Meetings With Trudeau Begin

Jeff Louderback
By Jeff Louderback
March 24, 2023Canada
‘We’re Lucky We Have Canada,’ Biden Says as Bilateral Meetings With Trudeau Begin
U.S. President Joe Biden participates in a bilateral meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, on March 24, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden arrived in Ottawa on March 24 for bilateral meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

It marks Biden’s first visit to Canada as president.

Trudeau said before the two leaders entered their first meeting, “Obviously, we’ve been working closely together over the past few years on how to build strong economies for everyone in our two countries and around the world, how to continue our fight against climate change and prepare a stronger economic future for everyone, but also how we deal with changing geopolitical security contexts and how we continue the important work of keeping our citizens safe and standing up for our values everywhere around the world.”

“We have no greater friend and ally than the United States,” he added.

Biden noted that he has not visited Canada since 2016.

“We’re lucky we have Canada to the north,” Biden said. “We disagree on things occasionally, but there’s no fundamental difference in the democratic values we share, and it really makes a big difference.”

Biden added that the two leaders have much to discuss.

After the official welcome ceremony and book signing in the morning, Biden is slated to join Trudeau for a pair of bilateral meetings, the White House said.

Biden will deliver an address to the Canadian parliament in the afternoon followed by a joint press conference with Trudeau.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are scheduled to attend a gala dinner hosted by Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.

Biden and Trudeau are expected to talk about mutual national security issues and defense cooperation, including strengthening supply chain resilience, and accelerating the clean energy transition, the White House reported.

Shared concerns about Chinese aggression and political instability in Haiti are among the topics that Biden and Trudeau will discuss.

Biden is expected to bring up his administration’s call for Canada to devote more funds to upgrade the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) early warning system.

Vulnerabilities of that system were exposed earlier this year when a Chinese spy balloon flew over both nations.

The two leaders are also set to announce an agreement designed to stop the flow of asylum seekers at unofficial border crossings from the United States to Canada.

During his speech before the Canadian Parliament, Biden will “highlight the importance of the United States-Canada bilateral relationship,” according to the White House.

A joint statement from the U.S. Department of Energy and Canada’s Department of Natural Resources noted that Biden and Trudeau “affirmed their intent to promote enhanced collaboration on nuclear energy and technology between their two countries.”

“Enhancing our partnerships is more important than ever given the current global challenges we face,” the statement reads. “Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable war against Ukraine and the increasing impacts of climate change have fundamentally altered the global energy landscape and accelerated the need for collaboration between like-minded allies.”

From The Epoch Times