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Canadian Prime Minister visits U.S.
00:48 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t mince words Thursday in discussing how he viewed his relationship with the United States in the age of Donald Trump, issuing sharp criticism of the President-elect, though he did not mention his name.

“Canadians expect their government to have a constructive working relationship with the incoming American administration, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Trudeau said during a town hall in Belleville, Ontario, in response to a question about how a Trump presidency will impact Canada’s relationship with the United States.

But, he said, “there are things that we hold dear that the Americans haven’t prioritized.”

“And I’m never going to shy away from standing up for what I believe in – whether it’s proclaiming loudly to the world that I am a feminist, whether it’s understanding that immigration is a source of strength for us and Muslim Canadians are an essential part of the success of our country today and into the future,” he said as the audience applauded.

Trudeau noted the historically strong economic ties between the North American neighbors.

“We’re going to make sure that we are fighting for Canadian jobs, Canadian economic growth, for opportunities for Canadians as it regards both our relations with the United States and indeed with the world.”

Trudeau did, however, say he was open to discussing matters with the US.

“These are issues that are things we can have discussions on and respectful disagreements on with our neighbors to the south, if indeed we have to have disagreements on them,” he said.