By Guillermo Duralde,
Domestic News Assistant Editor
The comparisons between a younger President Obama and the freshly minted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been easy to make and for the first time in over 20 years, the Canadian Prime Minister visited the White House in the final year of his American counterpart.
Both President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau are seen by many in the international community as similar leaders in the fact that they have come in to office with an air of hope and optimism on top of being seen as more of a personable leader who appealed to the younger generation.
One point of contention between the United States and Canada over the course of the last few years of the Obama and Harper administrations was their opposing views with regards to climate change and the need to move away from traditional fossil fuels to clean, renewable sources of energy.
The Keystone Pipeline project, an oil pipeline project which was meant to transport oil from Canadian tar sands in Alberta to the US Gulf coast was often a point of contention between the Obama and Harper administrations.
Stephen Harper was dead set on expanding Canada’s oil industry whereas President Obama made it clear from the moment he set foot in office that climate change and a move towards cleaner, renewable energy sources would be a big part of his tenure.
With the election of Justin Trudeau, the American and Canadian executive branches were united in their views on climate change and according to reports on the meetings as reported by the BBC “(t)he leaders have pledged cooperation on liberalizing investment and trade, promoting clean energy and preventing foreign fighters from travelling to the Middle East.”
One of the developments expected to come out of the meeting between both leaders are “commitments to reduce planet-warming emissions of methane, a chemical contained in natural gas that is about 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide, and which can leak from drilling wells and pipelines.”
Both leaders in private meeting were said to have discussed other issues ranging from terrorism to immigration.
The meeting between Obama and Trudeau was more akin to a reuniting of brothers who haven’t seen each other in years then the meeting of two world leaders.
At the press conference, President Obama made some jokes at the expense of the Canadian Prime Minister saying that the United States and Canada will never agree on things such as who has the better beer and who is better at hockey.
It was easy to notice that Prime Minister Trudeau’s face told the story, especially with respect to the president questioning Canada’s prowess in hockey to which the president said “Where is the Stanley Cup right now? Is it in the city of Chicago with MY Chicago Blackhawks?”
At the end of the day, the visit between Trudeau and Obama has been considered a success and a positive step forwards in rebuilding relations with our neighbors to the north.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 22nd print edition.
Contact Guillermo at