The Canadian government says it is “firmly opposed” to the idea of sending American troops to the border to intercept illegal migrants as part of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Canada is firmly opposed to this US proposal and we have expressed this opposition very, very clearly to our American counterparts,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland today.
“At the end of the day, each country makes its own decisions, but ours is an important and valuable partnership and we are making Canada’s position clear.”
As reported for the first time by Global News, White House officials are actively discussing the possibility of placing soldiers near the Canadian border due to border security concerns related to COVID-19, which increases diplomatic tensions among two sides of the border.
A source familiar with the discussions told CBC News that the White House plans to place 1,000 soldiers approximately 25 kilometers from the border and use remote sensors to locate irregular border residents.
The source noted that the United States had not made a final decision.
Asked about the story at a press conference in the morning, Trudeau said that the Canadian government had “had discussions” with the United States on the matter.
“Canada and the United States have the longest non-militarized border in the world. It is in both of our interests that it remains so,” Trudeau told reporters.
“It has greatly benefited our two countries, our two economies. We think it should stay that way.”
The two countries have implemented a mutual ban on non-essential cross-border travel, which includes travel for recreational purposes.
When the ban was announced, both sides stressed the importance of continuing to allow cross-border trade, commerce and essential workers to go back and forth across the border.