Voters fill out their ballots at American Legion Post 1 on Election Day in Tulsa, Okla. Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mike Simons/Tulsa World

Voters fill out their ballots at American Legion Post 1 on Election Day in Tulsa, Okla. Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mike Simons/Tulsa World

Canada faces political, economic instability after uncertain U.S election result

For Americans voting in Canada, the delay was also frustrating

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is carefully watching the political drama unfolding in the United States today.

The U.S. presidential race remains too close to call with millions of votes still be counted in battleground states including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and North Carolina.

U.S. President Donald Trump has secured 213 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win, while former vice-president Joe Biden sits at 224. There are 101 college votes left to be confirmed.

In the wee hours of this morning, Biden preached patience and said everyone must wait for the ballots to be counted. Not long after that, Trump essentially declared himself the winner and said he would take his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trudeau briefly spoke to reporters as he arrived on Parliament Hill Wednesday morning, continuing his weeks-long effort to say little on the U.S. presidential election until it is decided.

“As everyone knows there is an electoral process underway in the United States. We are of course following it carefully and we will continue to as the day and days unfold,” he said.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet urged Trudeau to continue his neutral positioning, because the Canadian government has “the obligation to respect and to stay away from internal American affairs.”

Blanchet said he had no such obligation, however, as a leader who does not think he will be the prime minister of Canada, and “I might think that it will take a little more than four years before Quebec becomes independent.”

“If I was an American, I would be a Democrat,” he said. “And if I were a Democrat, I would be asking myself what did we do wrong? How come the American people support so much a man who openly lies, avoids paying his taxes, carries and shares prejudice against so many people. Why do the American people still support so strongly that man is a question that he does not have to ask himself. He’s faring very well. The Democrats, the media, the institutions should ask themselves this troubling question.”

VIDEO: There’s no winner in the U.S. presidential race. That’s OK

Canadian business leaders and political analysts however said the lack of a clear winner is bringing more political and economic uncertainty for Canada, and Trudeau, who doesn’t know which man he will be working with as the leader of Canada’s closest ally.

Bessma Momani, an international affairs specialist at the University of Waterloo, says Trump might expect Canada to say something after he prematurely declares himself the winner.

“A big challenge for Canada now is that Trump may want to declare victory before all votes are counted and expect allies to send in their congratulations,” said Momani.

“For those who don’t, like Canada who will want to wait this out, Trump will take this very personally (and) be punitive on trade matters.”

Perrin Beatty, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said uncertainty is not good.

“From a business perspective, people want to know what to expect for the next four years,” he said.

“But we’re simply going to have to wait.”

Biden made strong early showings in Republican strongholds of Texas and Ohio early Tuesday evening, but Trump caught up and was declared the winner in both by The Associated Press. Trump also won Florida’s 29 electoral college votes, a state which has been a deciding factor in multiple recent presidential races.

Fen Hampson, an international affairs expert at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs said a close race that ends up in the courts is “the dreaded scenario.”

“And it will breed political uncertainty, which isn’t good for Americans or Canadians at a time when our economies are reeling from COVID-19.”

For Americans voting in Canada, the delay was also frustrating.

Houston-born Jennifer Phillips, 30, voted by mail from Vancouver in her native Texas after moving to Canada last year.

“Americans know that issues like COVID, climate change, the global economy, require U.S. participation and leadership. So you know, what happens in America impacts the world,” said Phillips.

Living in Vancouver, she says she has breathed the smoke that has drifted northward from the California wildfires.

“We need a president in office that realizes that things need to change and accept science,” she said.

Mike Blanchfield and Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CanadaDonald TrumpJoe BidenUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Bandits vice-president Dylan Kular has released a statement offering his support for Indian farmers in their recent struggles. The City of Abbotsford has thus far remained silent on the issue. (Highstreet photo)
Fraser Valley Bandits VP Dylan Kular speaks out on India, City of Abbotsford silent on issue

W.J. Mouat grad states he supports farmers, unclear if City of Abbotsford will release statement

Joe Fast of Abbotsford is on dialysis four days a week and has issued a public plea for a kidney donor. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford man with 5% kidney function is desperately in need of a live donor

Joe Fast has a rare blood type and hasn’t yet been able to find a transplant match

Mia Skoone (left), with her cousin Gavin Nahal, has donated her birthday money to the ARH pediatrics unit for the past eight years. Now she is seeking sponsorships from local businesses to fund a UN conference she has been invited to. (Submitted)
One of Abbotsford’s most charitable youths seeking sponsors for conference trip

Abbotsford Senior Secondary School student Mia Skoone has been invited to UN event in May

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
COVID-19 outbreaks continue at 2 Abbotsford care homes

Tabor Home and Menno Home still battling the virus

Cottage-Worthington Pavilion
COVID-19 outbreak over at Abbotsford’s Cottage-Worthington Pavilion

Outbreak declared over at Fraser Health-run facility

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack mother upset about son’s alleged suicide attempt after hospital discharge

Rhonda Clough said 34-year-old son suffering with bipolar disorder should have been kept in hospital

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

Most Read