Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s approach to President Donald Trump

World Today

Elections in Canada are just days away. Justin Trudeau is seeking a second term as Prime Minister.

The vote comes amid strained relations with the U.S., and with President Donald Trump.

Has there been a Trump-effect on the campaign?

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports.

Trump is deeply unpopular with America’s neighbor to the North.

Shortly after becoming the U.S. President, his name was removed from a Toronto hotel, following public outcry.

And in the upcoming federal elections, the leading candidates have both used Brand Trump to try and tarnish the opponent.

Trudeau’s Liberal Party has accused Canada’s Conservatives of embracing Trumpism, though that’s a stretch.

Meanwhile, Andrew Scheer, the Conservative Party leader, has argued Trudeau is too weak to stand-up to Trump. That, too, is a stretch.

In fact, much of Trudeau’s campaign, as it relates to foreign policy, has centered largely on his renegotiation of NAFTA, a three-way trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico.

As Prime Minister, Trudeau has often positioned himself as a contrast to Trump.

A day after Trump announced his so-called Muslim ban, Trudeau announced that Canada would welcome all who were fleeing war “regardless of your faith.”

He didn’t reference Trump.

The two leaders have met on a handful of occasions. Some backfired.

In Quebec, in 2018, Trudeau hosted the G7. The Canadian leader said he would impose retaliatory tariffs on the U.S.

Feeling insulted, Trump pulled the U.S. from the closing G7 communique, and called Trudeau “meek and mild.”

So, would a Conservative-led government handle things differently? Unlikely, historian Robert Bothwell said.

“There is really only one way Canada can approach Donald Trump as a government, as a country, and that is very quietly and very calmly, and not react to provocation,” said Bothwell. “And hope that for the most part, Trump will not notice us.”

Expect more of the same up north, as long as things stay the same down south.