Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the US is requesting American troops be placed within 20 miles of the US-Canada border to help with border surveillance especially at irregular crossings. Trudeau indicated his government did not believe that was necessary at this time, but that talks were ongoing.
“Canada and the United States have the longest un-militarized 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 during a news conference outside his Ottawa home where he remains in quarantine.
Later at a government news conference in Ottawa, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland revealed Canada had made its opposition known to many levels of the US government, including the Defense Department and US Homeland Security.
"Canada is strongly opposed to this US proposal and we've made that opposition very, very clear to our American counterparts,” she said. “We understand the concerns of our American neighbors and friends. What we have said is we really do not believe at all that there would be a public health justification for you to take this action.”
In blunt terms Freeland underscored that, in her opinion, this was not the way treat a trusted friend and military ally.
Some context: Canada borders 13 American states and before the Covid-19 crisis the two countries shared one of the most lucrative trading relationships in the world. Both countries jointly decided to close the border to nonessential traffic earlier this month. Essential commercial trade and traffic has continued with enhanced medical screening.