Trudeau Pushes Back on U.S. Notion to Use Military Near Border


The Canadian government is urging the U.S. not to dispatch troops to its northern border, as Donald Trump’s administration looks to ramp up security to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the U.S. is considering sending the military to block any illegal migrants after the countries agreed to travel restrictions aimed at halting the contagion.

“Canada and the United States have the longest, unmilitarized border in the world and it is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way. We have been in discussions with the United States on this,” Trudeau said Thursday.

Freeland said it would “be a problem for our bilateral relationship,” but added it was not a trade issue. Last week’s agreement allows goods to continue flowing through the border.

The White House and U.S. Department of Defense referred questions to the Department of Homeland Security, which issued a statement on condition of anonymity.

The statement did not specifically acknowledge that troops are under consideration, but said it’s looking at every option to help slow the spread of the virus and to make sure border personnel have the resources they need.

Freeland said she had not yet spoken to Vice President Mike Pence, who leads Trump’s coronavirus task force, or Secretary of State Michael Pompeo about the measure.