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

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. announces signage along Alberta border to discourage non-essential travel

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Damien Kurek
MP Damien Kurek reflects on newly-released federal budget

‘Further, they recycle old promises they have consistently failed to deliver on’

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Alberta begins rolling out AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for those aged 40 or older

There are more than 70 pharmacies offering AstraZeneca, including 26 offering walk-in appointments

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

FILE - Dan Smyers, left, and Shay Mooney from the band Dan + Shay perform on NBC's Today show in New York on June 28, 2019. The duo will perform at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
Luke Bryan wins top ACM Award, but female acts own the night

Luke Bryan wins top ACM Award, but female acts own the night

In this undated photo provided by John-Paul Hodnett are a row of teeth on the lower jaw of a 300-million-year-old shark species named this week following a nearly complete skeleton of the species in 2013 in New Mexico. Discoverer Hodnett says it was the short, squat teeth that first alerted him to the possibility that the specimen initially dubbed "Godzilla Shark" could be a species distinct from it's ancient cousins, which have longer, more spear-like teeth. The image was taken using angled light techniques that reveal fossil features underneath sediment. (John-Paul Hodnett via AP)
‘Godzilla’ shark discovered in New Mexico gets formal name

The ancient chompers looked less like the spear-like rows of teeth of related species

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Most Read