Canada ‘strongly opposed’ to possible plan for US troops along border
Photo: As the sign reads: mission essential only are allowed into Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York, March 20, 2020. New northern border restrictions between United States and Canada to close the border for non-essential travel are in effect to limit the COVID-19 outbreak across the country. However, base personnel that are not considered essential are teleworking from home which include members from the 914th Air Refueling Wing, 107th Attack Wing, Army Reserve, New York National Guard and Military Entrance Processing Station stand ready to support and defend our nation when called upon. Niagara Falls ARS is located 6 miles east of the Canadian border. Whenever asked, wherever tasked. (U.S. Air Force photo by Peter Borys)
Montreal (dpa) – The Canadian government is “strongly opposed” to the idea of a US military deployment along the border with Canada in response to the coronavirus crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday.
Freeland said Canada had made its opposition clear to the US, in comments to reporters after news reports that Washington could place troops along its northern border to intercept those attempting to enter the US illegally.
Canada and the US have agreed to limit all non-essential travel between the two countries to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“This is an entirely unnecessary step, which we would view as damaging to our relationship,” Freeland told reporters in Ottawa.
“Canada is strongly opposed to this US proposal and we’ve made that opposition very, very clear to our American counterparts,” she added.
Citing an anonymous source, Canadian broadcaster CBC News reported Thursday that the White House is considering placing 1,000 troops about 25 kilometres from the 8,891 kilometre-long border and using remote sensors to look out for irregular border-crossers.
Freeland, who is tasked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to oversee relations with Washington, said Canada became aware of the possibility of troop movements near the border “a couple of days ago.”
A senior official in the US administration said Thursday that Washington is considering “every option” to help slow the spread of the virus while also ensuring that “essential travel for workers, movement of goods, and security of supply chains are not impeded,” in an emailed statement.
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