US-Canada Relations rocky due to COVID-19

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on April 6, 2020

Canada and the United States are at risk of hurting the strong relationship the two countries have held for countless decades due to the mad dash for medical equipment.

It was just reported today that the United States blocked a shipment of medical supplies from crossing the border into Ontario. Prime Minister Trudeau would not confirm whether or not Ontario Premier Doug Ford has blocked shipments, and the M3 medical supply company reported that it had happened.

In an interview with Global News Ford said, “We had three million masks stopped at the border this weekend coming up to Canada. That’s unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable that they’re doing this.”

These blockages are starting to happen the week after the White House announced that shipments of N95 respirators to Canada and Latin America would end.

Although New York State has been struck by COVID-19 with over 130,000 cases of and 4,700 deaths, the Ontario situation is getting worse each day and could eventually be as dire as New York if medical supplies are not forthcoming.

Ontario currently has seen 4,347 cases and 132 deaths, with another 309 cases being added today so far. Quebec, which also requires more medical supplies, has presently 8,580 cases and 121 deaths.

Despite the US being Canada’s primary importer of M95 masks during the COVID19 pandemic, Prime Minister Trudeau has opted not to take any reactionary measures against the Americans.

“We are not looking at retaliatory measures or measures that are punitive,” Trudeau said, “We know it is in both our countries’ interests to cooperate.”

The issue here is any significant adverse effects felt in Canada from the withholding of medical equipment from the US will do damage to the two countries’ previously friendly relationship. It is unclear what actions the Prime Minister should take, if any, to preserve the good terms between the US and Canada.

If preserving life in each country becomes too competitive, it could lead citizens of both to see the other as possibly responsible for suffering at home, where someone getting a ventilator in Quebec isn’t seen as having been taken away from someone in New York, and vice versa.

At the very least, the Prime Minister is right in the fact that Canada and the United States need to feel like they are on the same team. 

Outright banning M95 respirators from being shipped into Canada could cause conflict in the future and guarantee distrust between two countries that should be the closest of allies, and not separate competing nation-states trying to push the other down to get ahead.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

2 responses to “US-Canada Relations rocky due to COVID-19”

  1. John says:

    Butts & Turdo are really playing this up now. They realize how it appeals to the "anti-american" sentiment which Canadians possess deep down, a result of our own existential identity confusion. So, they continue to play this story to divert attention away from their own screw ups and errors and displace the anger towards Trump (an easy target). I prefer to continue to think about how these fools gave away our precious supplies to China, as well as neglecting to keep an emergency stock.

  2. Weyland Yutani says:

    John nails it, and the article fails to explain that 3M’s re-sellers and distributors were selling the masks to whomever showed up with the most money. The USA itself couldn’t get enough masks, and Trump had to use their Defense Production Act to FORCE 3M to behave like decent corporate citizens.