Barack Obama Welcomes Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau To The White House
President Barack Obama welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House on Thursday, CNN reports. The Canadian delegation received a warm welcome in Washington with President Obama, humorously saying “It’s about time, eh?” to the audience.
“No two nations agree on everything,” President Obama said during the morning news conference that took place outside in the White House Rose Garden. “Our countries are no different, but in terms of our interests and values and how we approach the world, few countries match up the way the United States and Canada do.”
Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau mentioned some of the newly established immigration and foreign policy measures. During the news conference, Obama stated that the two had come to an agreement on cutting down on methane emissions, as well a combined effort to fight ISIS. This seems to represent a renewed partnership between America and Canada. Obama, in discussing the U.S.-Canada border, said that there will be improvements to immigration procedures.
Obama brought up same-sex marriage as well as climate change as being two very big points that were agreed on. These are issues Obama hopes to continue to improve in his political legacy, and he sees Trudeau, who has only been serving in office for four months, as a likely candidate to follow in those footsteps. “I’ve learned a lot from him. He is somebody who is a deep thinker. He’s somebody with a big heart, but also a big brain,” Trudeau said of Obama.
My thanks to @POTUS Barack Obama for the warm welcome today. Sophie & I already feel at home.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 10, 2016
“Even more to protect our countries and our community, especially in the Arctic from climate change, just as we acted together at Paris to reach the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change,” Obama said. In his words, America and Canada could “do even more together to advance human development around the world.”
The President did acknowledge that he has been preoccupied building relationships and alliances with others, leaving his focus on Canada not high on his foreign policy list. But it is highly crucial that Washington and Ottawa maintain a good relationship and Obama was sure to mention that.
“To some degree, you don’t fix what’s not broken, and the relationship is extraordinary and doesn’t, I don’t think, need some set of revolutionary concepts,” he said. “What it does require is not taking the relationship for granted.”
Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did have a difference of opinion on sports, as it turns out. Trudeau noted, “We’ve made tremendous progress on many issues. Unfortunately, I will leave town with my beloved Expos still here in Washington. You can’t have everything.” Trudeau is referring to the Expos baseball team, a Montreal team until 2004, when they moved to Washington and were renamed the Nationals. But even with these playful disagreements, Trudeau and Obama’s friendship seems like a big improvement over Obama’s friendship with former Canadian leader Stephen Harper.
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama made a grand speech about reciprocity between nations, Trudeau’s kids goofed around on the White House lawn Thursday morning — Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien.
Here's the Prime Minister's kids hanging out on North lawn of White House while ceremony takes place on South lawn pic.twitter.com/zvWJ5ea4dJ
— Steven D'Souza (@cbcsteve) March 10, 2016
Hadrien continues to master the high-five even under pressure w @justintrudeau @potus #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/wrhGk5ribJ
— Adam Scotti 🇨🇦📷 (@AdamScotti) March 10, 2016
Meanwhile, First lady Michelle Obama and Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau came together for an event on Thursday morning, promoting education for young girls around the globe. Much like Barack and Justin, Michelle and Sophie seem to have strong connection. The First Lady introduced Grégoire-Trudeau as her “soulmate.” While their husbands went into the Oval Office, Ms. Obama and Ms. Grégoire-Trudeau attended the Let Girls Learn event being held at the United States Institute for Peace. The Let Girls Learn program hopes to give power to girls around the world, funding projects that aid young women in getting an education. Ms. Obama said there are 62 million girls all over the world who are not enrolled in school.
“Canada truly understands that gender equality and gender empowerment is a priority,” Ms. Grégoire-Trudeau said.
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]