As images began to circulate of U.S. President Barrack Obama welcoming his successor into the White House, it began to sink in: this was not a hoax.
Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States and he will hold the most powerful job in the world for at least the next four years. He’ll also have a majority in the U.S. Congress, after Republicans swept both the House and the Senate.
The dust is (slowly) settling on an election night that is sure to resonate for generations to come.
So how will this shocking result affect us?
Nobody knows with 100 per cent certainty, but what we do know is that, like it or not, Canada will have to play in the sandbox with Trump for the foreseeable future, and they’ll have to play nicely.
Just like mayors in the CRD, and especially mayors of a diverse group of communities like we have on the West Shore, compromise and understanding will be at the core of any fruitful partnership.
The North America Free Trade Agreement and Keystone XL are likely to be the two most important issues that will be discussed with our neighbours, as Trump isn’t a fan of NAFTA – or at least how it looks at the moment, He is, however, a supporter of the Keystone pipeline, which Stephen Harper could never seem to get done with Obama.
Smartly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stayed out of the fray throughout a tumultuous U.S. campaign, declining to denounce Trump’s controversial candidacy, likely biting his tongue on several of the bombastic billionaire’s headline-making remarks.
If he’d done otherwise, Trudeau would have strained the relationship with his U.S. counterpart before it had even begun, and that certainly wouldn’t have helped him when he sits down at the negotiating table with Trump.
Remember Trudeau’s famous “Because it’s 2015” quote that defined the early part of his mandate? Well, it’s soon to be 2017 and how he handles the Trump administration will help define his own legacy.