If America’s “rift becomes more rancorous and deeper, then we are in trouble,” said Kathleen Wynne, the first female and openly gay premier of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. Far-right activists have been emboldened in Canada too, she noted, recalling being followed and harassed by “very, very hard core right-wing angry men” during her 2018 re-election campaign, which she lost.
“We need to see that dissipate in the United States,” she said. “That’s Biden’s first order of business. To take a breath, and not preach to people, but try to figure out how to weave back the social fabric” of the country.
She added, “It’s a huge task.”
Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Biden have a warm history. The prime minister was host at a farewell state dinner for the then outgoing vice president four years ago, after Mr. Trump’s victory. Mr. Biden gave a speech then, during which he said it was up to Canada to be the defending champion of the “liberal international order.” He ended with a toast: “Vive le Canada. Because we need you very, very badly.”
Both leaders have made combating climate change, defending human rights and strengthening international institutions central to their platforms.They built their political personas on inclusivity and social justice — although at 49, Mr. Trudeau is a generation younger than Mr. Biden.
Mr. Rock, who also served as Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, said he hoped Mr. Trudeau would offer his assistance to Mr. Biden, in rebuilding American relationships around the world. “Their first conversation, I hope includes the words, ‘How can we help?’” Mr. Rock said. “We aren’t the ones who behaved as Mr. Trump did. We have reasonable currency in the capitals of the world.”
Some in the country worried Mr. Biden’s proposed protectionist economic policies could damage the Canadian economy so intrinsically dependent on the United States. But, even Conservative Canadian politicians anticipate a renewed and strengthened relationship.
The premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, who called the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline a “gut punch,” welcomed the new administration, adding that his province had “the deepest economic ties to the United States and strong social connections that go back well over a century.”