Green Party Statement on the Inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada extends its congratulations to all Americans on the inauguration of President Biden and Vice-President Harris. On this historic day, people in Canada look forward to forging a renewed relationship with the United States in areas of mutual interest and concern. 

“Canada-U.S. bilateral agreements should set the world standard for the protection of workers’ rights and the environment,” said Annamie Paul, Leader of the Green Party. “Canada’s land border with the U.S. must be immediately re-opened to asylum seekers until U.S. policies on asylum seekers or the Safe Third Country Agreement - which our Federal Court found to be unconstitutional - are dramatically reformed. President Biden and the government of Canada should also work together to establish a game-changing North American Carbon Border; as a cornerstone of a Green Recovery, and Canada should follow President Biden’s example by appointing our own Climate Minister.

“There is great hope that the Biden-Harris administration will usher in a new era of U.S. commitment to multilateralism. Both of our countries have significant leadership gaps in this area, especially on the climate. In the case of the United States, we welcome its return to the Paris Agreement and the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline project. In the case of Canada, matching our actions with our rhetoric is expected, as we consistently fail to respect our basic international climate commitments, and our track record on greenhouse gas emissions lags well behind America’s. The Prime Minister should not waste Canada’s diplomatic capital on pursuing the Keystone project, but rather work with the President to ensure North America becomes a world leader on the climate and the green economy.

“People in the U.S. and Canada also anticipate that the Biden-Harris administration will work to heal the divisions in American society. The events surrounding the transfer of executive power in the country have shocked the world and serve to underline that democracy can be threatened anywhere. Populism, polarisation, and doctrines of racial and religious supremacy are an ongoing threat, even in longstanding democracies such as the U.S. and Canada. As such, it is the duty of our governments to identify, expose and root out supremacist movements from our institutions and societies. We must ensure that those who promote and disseminate such ideologies know that there will be no safe place or dark corner where their beliefs will be allowed to flourish. 

“We must also recognise that the most effective means of neutralising hateful ideologies is by attacking the underlying conditions that give rise to them. Unfortunately, the trend of rising inequality in Canada and the United States has led to greater support for those who seek to promote antidemocratic populism and supremacist ideologies. It is thus encouraging to hear President Biden’s commitment to reverse that trend. In Canada, we must do the same, by working at an ambitious pace to end entrenched inequalities, dismantle systemic racism, and ensure that our institutions and social programs deliver true racial and social justice, with special attention to Indigenous Peoples.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview:

Rosie Emery

Press Secretary