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Forum – How Could the Outcome of the American Election Affect Canada?

The Humanist Association of Toronto

Every Saturday we meet to discuss a topic decided upon the previous week. These are topics of humanist interest, from a humanist perspective.

The topic of the discussion will be decided in a prior meeting, usually two weeks in advance. This week’s topic is: How Could the Outcome of the American Election Affect Canada? by HAT member Tanya Long. Join us, won’t you?
When the US sneezes, Canada catches a cold. The election on November 3 is a very important election. More voters (83%-Pew Research Center)) say it really matters who wins the presidency than at any point in the last 20 years. America is Canada’s largest trading partner and the two countries share the longest continuous border in the world. The results of the election will undoubtedly have a major effect on Canada regardless of who wins.

A recent national call-in program had as its theme this question of the effect of the election on Canada. The first caller, a gentleman from BC, spoke strongly on behalf of Trump. He said that in order for trade to continue between the two countries, Trump had to be re-elected. He also praised Trump’s America First approach and felt that Canada needs more of the same.

Trade is certainly one of the issues that will be affected. Trump has stated that Canadians have taken advantage of the US for many years. In spite of USMCA/CUSMA, Trump imposed a tariff on imports of Canadian steel and aluminum. Canada in turned imposed a tariff on a wide variety of products, including products made from aluminum in the US. As well as tariffs on aluminum, the results of the election could have an impact on our lumber and auto industries. Biden seems to want to take a less confrontational approach to dealing with his allies, referring to them as family.

Other issues that will be affected include the environment. Biden has said he will tear up Trump’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project. This would please environmentalists; Albertans not so much.

What about that caller’s view that Canadians need to emulate Trump in putting Canada first. A Trump win could act as encouragement for Canadians who, for example, think Canada has a too-liberal immigration policy. Or for Canadians who hold racist attitudes. A Trump win will legitimize those attitudes. Trump’s win in 2016 was something of a fluke; a win in 2020 will validate his actions as President and also validate Canadians who approve of his confrontational, “law and order,” America first, support of big business, racist, misogynistic approach.

Americans living in Canada could determine the winner. About 620,000 Americans live in Canada. In the last election, only about 30,000 voted. Regardless of whom they vote for, it is imperative that Americans living in Canada vote.

Meet our diverse group, trade perspectives in a free and open forum and learn from others as they learn from you!

BTW: don’t be concerned if there are not many RSVP’s. Many HAT members attend regularly but don’t sign up on Meetup. Our online meetings have been very popular with 20-30 attendees.

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