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

Desert Sun would like to house a winter shelter in the Oliver United Church. They are seeking a three year contract. (Google View)
Virtual meeting for Oliver winter shelter is tonight

Public invited to join Zoom meeting, ask questions

Penticton Secondary School has been added to the list of school exposures to COVID-19 by Interior Health. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
BREAKING: COVID-19 at Pen-Hi

Pen Hi is the third school this week to have COVID exposures

(Google Maps)
Osoyoos Credit Union staff member tests positive for COVID-19

The credit union made the announcement Dec. 1

Elkhart Gas Station, located on Highway 97C about 60 kilometres west of Peachland, opened in November 2020. (Google maps)
The Okanagan Connector now has a gas station

The highway previously ran for over 117 kilometres without a place to fuel up

Paule Moore, formerly known as Paule Seeger. (TNG Legal Services)
Kelowna lawyer to face disciplinary hearing over alleged misappropriated funds

Paule Moore, née Seeger, is accused of withdrawing client trust funds a number of times when she was not entitled to do so

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Access to a Bastion Road property in Sunnybrae was blocked with officers on scene on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (File photo)
Report clears RCMP actions that led to fatal shooting of Shuswap suspect

Independent Investigations Office of BC releases findings on Jan. 7 incident in Tappen

Vermilion Court has operated as the town's only assisted-living facility since for 16 years. Spotlight file photo
Princeton seniors complex eliminating services beginning this week

Funding for Vermilion Court, as promised by the NDP during the election, has yet to come through

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

A dirt bike crash on May 18 left Kelowna’s Steven Margetts paralyzed and without work. (GoFundMe)
Kelowna man paralyzed in dirt bike crash makes plea for help

GoFundMe launched for Steven Margetts, who shares a harrowing recap of his life-changing crash

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Most Read