Canada references Trump in sympathy message to US

It was a gesture of sympathy and encouragement.

“America, you guys are already great,” it said, of course referencing the ubiquitous Trump campaign mantra. 

The slogan came courtesy of a Toronto-based creative agency. Its aim was to “make a positive contribution to an election season that has been downright depressing”.

Canada is used to being in the shadow of her big, brash sister. This was like putting a hand on her shoulder and saying “you’ll get through this”, yet lots of Americans are still joking about moving to Canada if Donald Trump wins. 


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Judith Timson writes a weekly column in the Toronto Star. 

“It’s the number one topic of conversation here and two words are being used – anxiety and fascination,” she said.

“It’s an amazing spectacle but there’s also high anxiety about who’s moving in next door – is it the bigot and the bully or is it a women who’s going to make history?”

The world is watching this unprecedented election but geography makes the Canadian perspective more intense.

“Many of us cross the border everyday,” says Ms Timson. “We share North America with them and trade with them. Look at Justin Trudeau’s approval rating – it’s in the 60s.

“The majority of Canadians would not give Trudeau that rating if we didn’t generally support his ideas on things like climate change and feminism.”

President Trump would not find a kindred spirit in Canada’s progressive leader. Prime Minister Trudeau has committed himself to fighting climate change with a ministerial team that for the first time in Canada’s history is equally balanced between men and women.


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“I can’t imagine he would keep his mouth shut when it came to it,” says Ms Timson. 

And there would be plenty to talk about. Trade between the US and Canada is important for both economies. According to the Canadian government the two countries exchanged $2.4bn (£1.96bn) in goods and services every day in 2014.

Canada signed up to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) back in February. The 12-country TPP deal is one of Donald Trump’s favourite political punch bags – Hillary Clinton’s view is less clear.

A year ago she announced she had opposed the deal she once called a “gold standard in trade agreements”.

It is a similar picture with the North American Free Trade agreement (NAFTA).

Mr Trump says it is the worst deal ever while Mrs Clinton has more recently been trying to distance herself from the US, Canada and Mexico agreement she once supported. The rise of protectionism could be a challenge for Canada.

But the democratic candidate finds common ground on climate change. Hillary Clinton may differ with the Canadian PM on the Keystone Pipeline but the need for a new climate agreement is something she and Justin Trudeau agree on.

Mr Trudeau’s party supports Mrs Clinton’s policy paper which describes the need for future climate negotiations with Canada and Mexico.

Both have expressed interest in clean energy growth and new infrastructure to fight climate change. Donald Trump does not believe in man-made climate change.

For Canada, like the rest of the world, a Trump and Clinton presidency offer the prospect of a very different future.

:: Watch America Decides, a special programme on the US election at midnight on Monday.

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