'Canada has no closer friend': PM Trudeau comments on U.S. election outcome
Published Wednesday, November 9, 2016 8:10AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 9, 2016 10:18PM EST
Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election has led Canadians to issue statements that range from restrained congratulations to utter dismay.
“Canada has no closer friend, partner, and ally than the United States,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement Wednesday morning, hours after Trump claimed victory.
“We look forward to working very closely with President-elect Trump, his administration, and with the United States Congress in the years ahead, including on issues such as trade, investment, and international peace and security.”
Trudeau also spoke with Trump on Wedneday to congratulate him on his victory, the Office of the Prime Minister has confirmed.
"The Prime Minister and the President-elect reiterated the importance of the Canada-United States bilateral relationship, and discussed various areas of mutual interest," the Prime Minister's Office said in a prepared statement. "The Prime Minister invited the President-elect to visit Canada at his earliest opportunity. The President-elect offered the same to the Prime Minister."
In the run-up to the election, the Prime Minister remained tactfully mum on the prospect of a Trump presidency.
Other Canadian politicians were less delicate.
“Tonight Americans will make history: the first woman president or the first reality show president. Hold on to your hats #USElection2016,” tweeted NDP MP Nathan Cullen.
Hours after Trump was declared president-elect, former Conservative MP Jason Kenney tweeted:
I've been profoundly opposed to Donald Trump's candidacy. But Americans have decided.CDA's leaders must work w/ him to advance our interests— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) November 9, 2016
On social media, many Canadians expressed complete disappointment with the election result.
I think I speak for most of us in Canada— Allan Hawco (@allanhawco) November 9, 2016
Any people from Mexico living in the US
Come on over
NO MORE MEMES. THIS ISN'T FUNNY. THIS IS NOT REALITY TELEVISION. IT'S SLAPSTICK REALITY. GET ME OUT OF HERE.— Adam van Koeverden (@vankayak) November 9, 2016
Im still blown away this guy made it past the primary! Now he may be your President?!? Really?— Jesse Lumsden (@JesseLumsden28) November 9, 2016
Hey USA, #cmonman
Talk about cutting off your country to spite your neighbor.— Rachelle Lefevre (@RachelleLefevre) November 9, 2016
I keep shaking my head. A pussy grabbing, dishonest, misogynistic, racist, egomaniac bully could be the president of the USA. Unbelievable.— Kyle Shewfelt (@kyleshew) November 9, 2016
@InakiGomezG I'm already packing my bags and moving back— BrianneTheisen-Eaton (@btheiseneaton) November 9, 2016
Throughout election night, other prominent Canadians weighed in on the race.
“The United States today is a very divided country,” former Liberal Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham said in a conversation with CTV News Channel as Trump seemed poised for victory. “In a way, they have divided themselves into categories.”
“It’s a remarkable event in American political history, because you have a man who is basically a vulgar, puerile man-boy who’s running for president and might in fact make it to the White House,” political commentator Clive Veroni told News Channel earlier in the evening. “I think his campaign is really an insult to the great tradition of intellectualism in the Republican Party. It’s an insult to the American democratic process. And frankly, it’s an insult to basic human decency.”
“I think he would actually be surprisingly moderate,” Conservative stalwart Conrad Black said in response to some of Trump’s more bombastic campaign messages.
“He isn’t racist,” Black added later. “He’s just politically incorrect.”
IN PICTURES: Trump wins U.S. presidential election
“His brand of politics is something that is foreign to all of us in Canada,” former Conservative MP John Baird told CTV News Channel from a Toronto election party. “But what’s going on in the United States is there’s a huge desire for change. They’re not happy with the status quo, and I think we’re begging to see that tonight – even if we don’t like it.”
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also commented as she attended an election night party in Toronto.
“Well, one of the things that’s happened in this election is that there’s been a lot of rhetoric about protectionism,” she told CTV News Channel before the results were called. “There’s been a shift in terms of the openness to global trade and to free trade so my hope is whoever is elected – but I think it’s more likely if Hillary Clinton is elected – that we go back to that conversation about how important it is that Canada and the United States have an open relationship and find ways to increase our relationship and strengthen our relationship.”
In Ottawa, U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman hosted an election party that turned increasingly sombre – and empty – as the night progressed.
“We're intertwined,” he said of U.S.-Canada relations. “I’ve worked with the Prime Minister, and I’m confident that he’s going to work very well with whoever is president of the United States.”