Canada objects to US plan to post troops at border
In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on COVID-19 situation in Canada from his residence March 23, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's online plea for people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic has gone viral, with actor Ryan Reynolds, musician Michael Buble and other Canadian celebrities on March 24, 2020 helping to spread the word. In the one-minute video the prime minister looks tired and a bit disheveled as he speaks to the nation from his kitchen in his second week of self-isolation with his family after his wife Sophie was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.
AFP/Dave Chan
Canada objects to US plan to post troops at border
Michael Comte (Agence France-Presse) - March 27, 2020 - 8:26am

OTTAWA, Canada — Canada opposes a plan by the United States to send  troops to its northern frontier to catch border jumpers who may be carrying COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland were responding to a Global News report that said White House officials are discussing such a military deployment to the recently closed border, the world's longest at 8,900 kilometers (5,500 miles).

Amid the coronavirus pandemic it was temporarily shut as of Saturday to all non-essential travelers on both sides, but not cross-border trade.

"Canada and the United States have the longest unmilitarized border in the world. And it is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way," Trudeau told a daily briefing.

He said his administration has highlighted to the US that the flow of people and trade "has benefited our two countries and our economies tremendously. And we feel that it needs to remain that way."

Freeland went further, warning: "In Canada's view this is an entirely unnecessary step which we would view as damaging to our (bilateral) relationship."

She noted at a news conference that Washington had yet to make a decision, but added, "We do not believe at all that there would be a public health justification for (the US) to take this action.  

"We've said we don't think this is the right way to treat a trusted friend and a military ally."

American troops

An estimated 400,000 people and $2 billion worth of goods normally cross the border each day. 

Global News said fewer than 1,000 American troops would be stationed within 30 kilometers (20 miles) of the Canadian frontier, between official border checkpoints, and use sensor technologies to detect irregular crossers.

Under the proposal, the US military would advise American border agents, who would be sent to intercept them.

According to the latest government data, US officials apprehended 4,400 migrants at the Canada-US border in the 12 months to September 30, 2019, compared to 15,700 who crossed irregularly into Canada from the United States during the period.

The number of coronavirus cases in Canada on Thursday surpassed 4,000 including 39 deaths, according to public health authorities. The number of US cases, meanwhile, topped 83,000, including more than 1,200 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Freeland said Ottawa "forcefully" pushed back against the border proposal, reminding in discussions with US officials that the two nations are "very close military allies," including partners in NORAD and NATO.

She also pointed to the recently ratified US-Mexico-Canada free trade pact and last week's agreement on border restrictions as evidence the two countries can work well together.

"In view of all of these connections and the importance of the (bilateral) relationship, Canada is strongly opposed to this US proposal," she said.

CANADA DONALD TRUMP JUSTIN TRUDEAU NOVEL CORONAVIRUS UNITED STATES
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 27, 2020 - 5:24pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

September 27, 2020 - 5:24pm

An overnight curfew in Australia's second-largest city will be lifted this week, officials said Sunday, even as the global coronavirus toll inched towards one million dead.

Despite the number of infections worldwide passing 32 million — with the US state of New York reporting a fresh spike — more than 10,000 anti-lockdown protesters demonstrated in central London ahead of the re-imposition of restrictions there.

In more positive news, residents of the Chinese city of Wuhan — where the virus emerged last year — reported a hesitant return to normalcy, while the French Open got underway at Roland Garros in Paris.

In Australia, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said Melbourne residents would be free from Monday to leave their homes for work, exercise, shop for essentials, or provide care after active cases in the state fell below 400 for the first time since June 30.

The relaxation of the curfew, imposed August 2, comes after 16 new infections and two deaths were reported Sunday. — AFP

September 27, 2020 - 9:26am

France will face a months-long coronavirus epidemic that will overwhelm its health system if something does not change, one of the country's top medical figures warns Sunday.

"The second wave is arriving faster than we thought," Patrick Bouet, head of the National Council of the Order of Doctors, tells the weekly Journal du Dimanche.

Fresh restrictions to slow the spread of the disease in the country's worst-hit areas, including the Mediterranean city of Marseille and the Paris region, have run into local resistance.

Bouet told the paper that warnings delivered this week by Health Minister Olivier Veran had not gone far enough.

"He didn't say that in three to four weeks, if nothing changes, France will face a widespread outbreak across its whole territory, for several long autumn and winter months," Bouet says. — AFP

September 26, 2020 - 4:13pm

 

The Philippines surpasses the 300,000-mark, with 2,747 new COVID-19 infections registered on Saturday.

88 individuals died and 787 recovered from the deadly virus.

September 25, 2020 - 4:10pm

The Department of Health reports 2,630 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 299.361.

69 have succumbed to the deadly virus while 494 have recovered. 

September 25, 2020 - 7:14am

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 978,448 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

At least 31,975,020 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 21,891,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

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