tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN March 10, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EST
a live picture from the south lawn of the white house this morning awaiting the start of the official welcoming ceremony for canadian prime minister justin trudeau. it is his first official trip to the united states since taking office last fall, also the first state visit for a canadian leader since 1997. president obama will be meeting with him after this ceremony and then the two will hold a news conference. we will have live coverage of that about 11:40 eastern this morning. also, tonight president obama will host a state dinner for prime minister trudeau, the first in 2016 and we will also have that live at 6:15 p.m. eastern. ♪
>> soldiers ready. ceremonial, ceremonial at ease. soldiers stand at ease. staff ceremonial at ease. >> good morning, everybody. >> good morning. >> bonjour. on behalf of the american people, on behalf of michelle and myself, it is my honor to welcome to the united states prime minister justin trudeau. [ cheers and applause ] mrs. gregoire trudeau, their
beautiful children and the quite good looking canadian delegation. it's long been said that you can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your neighbors. well, by virtue of geography, the united states and canada are blessed to be neighbors, and by choice we are steadfast allies and the closest of friends. the truth is, though, with he don't express this enough in part because of our national characters, our canadian friends can be more reserved, more easy going. we americans can be a little louder, more boisterous, and as
a result, we haven't always conveyed how much we treasure our alliance and our ties with our canadian friends, and that's why today we are very proud to welcome the first official visit about i a by a canadian prime minister in nearly 20 years. it's about time, eh? and what a beautiful day it is, which is a little unfair, as president my very first foreign trip was to canada to ottawa in february. in the snow. still our friends from the great white north gave me a very warm welcome, and mr. prime minister, we hope to reciprocate some of that warmth today with your first official visit south of the border.
we're joined today by proud canadian-americans. [ cheers and applause ] we are family, and this is also a special day for the many canadians who live and work here in america and who enrich our lives every day. we don't always realize it, but so often that neighbor, that co-worker, that member of the white house staff, some of our favorite artists and performers, they're canadian. they sneak up on you. even as we remember what makes us unique, americans and canadians, we see ourselves in each other. we're guided by the same values, including our conviction that the blessings we cherish as free people are not gifts to be taken for granted but are precious freedoms that have to be defended anew by every generation.
americans and canadians, our brave men and women in uniform, have paid the price together across a century of sacrifice, from the poppy fields of flanders to the rugged mountains of afghanistan. as nato allies, we stand united against terrorism, and for the rights of nations like ukraine to determine their own destiny. as leaders at the united nations, with he stand up for peace and security and the human rights of all people. our shared values also guide us at home. i'm proud to be the first american president to stand with a canadian prime minister and be able to say that in both our nations health care is not a privilege for a few but is now a right for all. [ cheers and applause ] and as two vast and vibrant
societies we reaffirm our diversity is the strength. whether your family was the first native peoples to live on the lands or refugees we welcomed just yesterday, whether you pray in a church or a synagogue or a temple or a mosque where no matter proprovince or state you live you have the free tom to marry the person you love. i don't want to gloss over the differences between americans and ka yad nans, some we may never agree upon, whose beer is better, who's better at hockey. [ moans ] >> don't get me started.
>> where is the stanley cup right now? [ moans ] sorry, is it in my hometown with the chicago blackhawks -- in case you were wondering, in case you canadians were wondering, where is it? and this visit is special for another reason. nearly 40 years ago on another march morning another american president welcomed another canadian prime minister here to the white house. that day prime minister pierre trudeau said that the united states is canada's best friend and ally, and one of the reasons he said is that we have a common outlook on the world. today prime minister justin trudeau carries on this work. as prime minister, your election and the first few months in office have brought a new energy
and dynamism not only to canada but to the relationship between our nations. we have a common outlook on the world and i have to say i have never seen so many americans so excited about the visit of a canadian prime minister. [ cheers and applause ] with this visit i believe the united states and canada can do more together to promote the trade and economic partnerships that provide jobs and good opportunities for our people, even more to ensure the security that so many americans and canadians count on so that they can live in safety and freedom, even more to protect our countries and our communities especially in the arctic from climate change, just as we acted together at paris to reach the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change. [ cheers and applause ] and guided by our values, we can do more together to advance
human development around the world from saving a child from a preventable disease to giving a student in calf ka electricity to study by because as americans and canadians we believe in the inherent dignity of every human being. our work remains rooted in the friendship between our peoples, we see that everybody in communities along our shared border, up in alaska, folks head across the border to celebrate canada day and folks in stewart, british columbia come over for the fourth of july. at the baseball die nond in quts, alabama, if you hit a ball well there's a good chance it may land in montana and where vermont meets quebec, americans and canadians come together at the local library where the borderline literally runs right across the floor. resident of one of these border
towns once said we're two different countries but we're like one big town and people are always there for you. trm trudeau, justin, sophie, we are two different countries but days like this remind us we're like one big town and we reaffirm americans and canadians will always be there for each other. welcome to the united states. [ speaking in french ] >> mr. president, first lady, distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for this extraordinary welcome. thank you so much for inviting sophie and me and through us, all of canada to join with you on this spectacular morning.
thank you very much. sophie and i, along with our entire delegation are honored and touched by your magnificent hospitality, and by the reinforcement of just how powerful you are, mr. president to argue such a perfect day for you. [ speaking in french ] [ speaking in french ] you may recall that our government was elected on a plan to strengthen the middle class. we have an ambitious innovation agenda as we realize that
revitalizing our economy will require investing in new ideas and new technologietechnologies. our plan will foster emerging industries, create good jobs and increase our global competitiveness. that was the canadian plan and of course, it very much resembles the challenges and the solutions that you've been putting forward here south of the border. plan to invest in our country and invest in our people, and it's wonderful to see that our american friends and partners share and are working on the exact same objectives. see, as our leading trading partner and closest ally, the relationship between our two countries has always been vital. as an exporting nation, canada is always eager to work closely to reduce trade barriers between our countries, and speaking of exports, with he know with certainly that there's a high demand for canadian goods down here, a few that come to mind
that president obama just rightly recognized as being extraordinary contributors to the american success story as jonathan toews, duncan keith and patrick sharp of the chicago blackhawks. we've faced many challenges over the course of our shared history and while we have agreed on many things and disagreed on a few others, we remain united in a common purpose, allies, partners, and friends, as we tackle the world's great challenges. whether we're charting a course for environmental protection, making key investments to grow our middle class, or defending the rights of oppressed peoples abroad, canada and the united states will always collaborate in partnership and good faith. the history may be complex, but the bottom line is clear.
there is no relationship in the entire world like the canada/u.s. relationship. [ cheers and applause ] our great countries have been friends a long time. we grew up together and like all great enduring friendships, at our best we bring out the best in one another, and through it all our enormous shared accomplishments speak for themselves. prosperous, free, diverse societies that have shaped history together, we could not be prouder of that past and on behalf of 36 million canadians, i thank you all for your warmth welcome. now let's get to work on shaping our shared future. [ speaking in french ]
president obama and canadian prime minister trudeau heading inside now for a meeting. the two will be holding a joint news conference which we will have live at about 11:40 this morning. and a reminder that tonight president obama will host a state dinner for prime minister trudeau, the first in 2016 and c-span will have live coverage of that starting at 6:15 eastern with hosts following later. also some insight into the visit and interview with canadian ambassador to the u.s. david mcnaughton, ambassador named to his post on january 16th. >> ambassador mcnaughton, the newly elected prime minister, justin trudeau, will be making his first official visit to the united states this week. what's happening at the embassy in preparation for his arrival? >> well, there's been an awful lot of work done by the staff here, obviously this kind of a
trip is you know, it's intense, in addition to the prime minister we have many ministers cabinet ministers coming so the staff has been working overtime to make this a successful visit, and i must say that the state department and the white house and everybody has been terrificcally cooperative and it's really helped the staff here in terms of the preparation. everybody's been terrific. >> as ambassador, what's your role? >> i just take all the credit for the good things, that all the staff do. i've been here for ten days, so of work for me getting up to speed with all the issues. i've had the good fortune of meeting a lot of people already at the white house. i sat beside senator, sorry, secretary kerry at the gridiron dinner which was delightful. we had a lot to talk about, so i had a couple meetings at the white house, i had my family
here to when i presented my credentials to the president, so it's been a bit of a whil wind ten days but it's been amazing. >> you are new to your post. tell us about the amount of coordination that goes on between the state department, the white house and the embassy. how do you manage all of that in preparation for an official visit? >> well you know, we have almost i think all totaled almost 300 people here at the embassy and so they have counterparts not just in state but homeland security and all of the various, you know, the ustr, and they've been working for, well ever since the visit was announced, day in and day out to make this a successful trip. so it's been a lot of work. i have been briefed on all the issues. i've been brought up to date in
terms of the schedule but most of the hard work is done by the staff on both sides. >> what do you think the canadian people expect out of this visit? >> well, in some respects it is a reengagement and a refresh of the relationship, the most important relationship we have in the world. americans are not only our closest neighbors, but our best friends and largest trading partners, $2 billion a day worth of bilateral trade that goes on. so it's a critical relationship for us from an economic point of view, but also in today's world it's also important that we work together on security issues and a lot of that has been being discussed and i think we're certainly it's one in terms of our approach to that. we live side by side. we need to work together on security matters, as we have in the past. we've been partners in norad for
a long time, that worked out really well. >> what do you think the prime minister wants to accomplish when he speaks with the president and he is here for all the different events that will take place? >> well, we have quite a number of items that have been discussed on and off between canada and the united states and we're hoping that this visit allows us to finalize some agreements, certainly on the environment, climate change, some economic issues, they're important and security issues and other items where we're not going to reach agreement while the prime minister is here, but hopefully we can nudge them along and get them to a point where we can hopefully get some agreements between now and the fall. >> where do you want to do some nudging? where does the prime minister want to do some nudging? >> for us there are economic issues that are really quite important. for the united states and for canada, the whole dispute over
softwood lumber, you know, where the agreement we had a ten-year agreement, it ran out last fall. there's one that runs out in october, it's in both of our interests to reach an agreement on softwood lumber because having those kinds of trade disputes, the only people that are happy when those take place are lawyers, and i'm not sure that that's in our interest to be making lawyers wealthy. >> describe your relationship with the prime minister. how did you get your post and how often -- you've only been here for ten days but how often are you communicating? >> well, i first was in, i was first in blair house many years ago with the prime minister's father. i worked for the foreign minister right out of university, and we came to washington, i ka imto washington with his father and i got to know the prime minister probably eight or nine years ago when he
got into politics. his chief of staff and his principal secretary are close personal friends. i worked on the campaign that took place last year and he and i are very close. i really hadn't anticipated when i was working on the election campaign that i'd be asked to do this job. that wasn't why i was working on the campaign. when he asked me if i would do this, i was thrilled. this is obviously a very important job in the canadian diplomatic corps and so i'm delighted to be here and i'm hoping that i can use my experience in terms of business and in politics and in public policy to work with americans to our mutual benefit, because we need to see this not as a zero sum game but as a way to work together for the benefit of both countries. >> what are your marching orders?
>> well, i think it's -- obviously this year is an important year, because there not only is a presidential election but obviously congress, congressional elections, so i need to, you know, develop relationships, because you know, things that, when there are difficulties, and there are always going to be difficulties, there's difficulties among friends, there's difficulties in relationships like marriages, the way you get over those difficulties is to be open and honest and not let the little problems get in the way of what is a terrific relationship. >> ambassador hau for your time. >> thank you very much. >> and president obama and canadian prime minister trudeau now meeting behind closed doors. they'll be holding a joint news conference which we'll have live for you on c-span3 starting at 11:40 eastern today. coming up tonight, president owe ba in will host a state dinner for the prime minister,
the first of 2016. c-span will have live coverage of that starting at 6:15 eastern with toasts following later live as well. here's a quick preview of the dinner. >> hi, everyone. welcome to the white house. as lauren mentioned i'm the white house social secretary. it is my privilege and honor to welcome you here today for the press preview for the dinner. it will be happening in the east room followed by musical selections sarah bareilles here in the state dining room. this marks the 11th state or official visit of the obama administration and i am so excited that you're here for us to show you a preview of the special evening tomorrow. in a few moments you'll get to hear from some of my amazing colleagues, starting with hettier the white house florist and tell you about the design and decor of the visit. it is inspired by the scenic lands between the u.s. and canada and also the colors of spring. following that you'll hear from chef chris and suzie, they will
go over the incredible meal they have prepared that will also be served on obama china and for the first time we are debuting the individual tureens that we will have also from the obama china service. as you can understand, this is not an easy feat to put a visit like this together, so in addition to the social office and the colleagues that you see here, i had to say a blanket thank you to all the departments that helped us put this special evening together. without further adieu denny will tell you a little bit more about the visit and the relationship between the u.s. and canada. have a great time and thank you. >> good afternoon. thank you for coming. the president and first lady are very much looking forward to welcoming prime minister trudeau and mrs. gregoire trudeau and their entire canadian delegation to the white house on march 10th. this will be the first owe firm visit about i a canadian prime
minister and this is an opportunity for the two countries to further expand and deepen the already very close relationship that we share. this will be the second meeting between the president and prime minister. they met last december in the philippines at apec, and since then have spoken several times on the telephone. the united states/canada relationship is one of the strongest in the world, underpinned by our shared history, democratic values, family ties, economy, and geography. we share the world's largest common bore for. we enjoy the largest most comprehensive trade and investment relationship. we stand shoulder to shoulder in securing our nations against threats both domestic and abroad. we provide the leadership that enables multilateral institutions, and international institutions to respond to crises and support communities in need. we are joining to protect the environment and combat climate
change as well as developing clean energies. of course when these visits occur, the bilateral meeting is only one aspect of the event, also on the schedule an arrival ceremony, a press conference, and lunch hosted by the secretary of state. this progression of events sets the tone for the final event, the state dinner. the president and first lady will host the state dinner in honor of prime minister trudeau and mrs. gregoire trudeau. i will leave the details to my colleagues but would like to highlight a couple of issues about a state dinner. in the united states, the modern state dinner dates back to the 1870s, and symbolizes the relationship, the importance and value of a relationship that the white house places, excuse me, that the white house places on a relationship with a foreign country. such an event is reserved only for the most important of relationships and in the case of president obama's time in office, this is only the 11th
time. in short, we consider ourselves fortunate to call the canadians our allies, partners, neighbors, and friends, and we are looking forward to tomorrow's event. now it gives me great pleasure to pleasure to introduce the white house florist. thank you. >> hello, everyone, i'm the chief florist at the white house. and we are very excited that the first lady, mrs. obama chose this motif since jade is one of the favorite colors of the first lady of canada. with spring coming up we incorporated some yellow which it's the first color of spring and color of friendship. as you can see we have enhanced the centerpieces with small satellites with each one of them have one type of flower to have the flowers to show their beauty
by itself. in the bigger arrangements we have cascading arrangements. it gives you a feel of walking through a garden at springtime when all the flowers are starting to bloom. thank you and i'm going to introduce my colleague, the executive chef. >> hi. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. i am the white house executive chef. and for the canadian state dinner we want to showcase everything from the pacific northwest all the way to the atlantic side of the north americas, and for the first course, this is the first time wonderful soup tureen that is part of the service. we'll be going a little reveal. it's called the bake halibut
casserole which is a comfort food of the americas so i'm going to show you later on that, you know, you get closer you can take a close up picture of this but it's just a wonderful baked halibut that is garnished with asparagus and some spring onions. pretty much what we want to connotate is spring. so a pun intelligent salad that's garnished with slif eed f appalachian cheese. and then we'll have pots to with wonderful vegetables in the spring, accented by yukon jack whiskey sauce.
i'll turn you over to our pastry chef. thank you. >> good afternoon, everyone. i am the executive pastry chef. i'm here to describe to you the dessert course for tomorrow's dinner. we have a dessert that is a reflection of the memory of winter and celebration of the arrival of spring. guests will be served this cake with delicate nuances of toasted texas pecans and caramelized maple syrup from new england. the splendor of the rocky mountains is here in this handmade sugar display, which the rocky mountains extend from new mexico to canada, a variety of pastries with american and canadian influences, a view from the mountain top is a handmade
sugar sculpture. it depicts and illustrates the region's astonishing scenery. along with it is the dramatic landscape surrounded by stunning wilderness, forested basin, and lush valleys with turquoise waters. this display also includes a cranberry square, white chocolate snowballs caramels, golden raisin tarts and a chocolate coconut slice. thank you very much. have a wonderful afternoon. prior to the canadian prime minister's arrival here in washington government officials provide preview of some of the issues likely to be discussed between president obama and the canadian leader. >> wow. good evening. good evening, ladies and
gentlemen. [ speaking foreign language ] >> i am the editorial director of politico events. i'm also canadian. so i am particularly thrilled, particularly thrilled to welcome you all here on behalf of politico to this special evening, a new agenda canada and the u.s. in the world. as we here in washington kick off a week of the first canadian state visit in 19 years. so to our guests here from canada welcome to washington ne. and a special welcome to those joining us today on the live stream at politico.com, on c-span across the united states, and on cpac in canada. we at politico are particularly excited to be hosting this binational event. this year we launched politico
europe just a few months ago and already been voted the number one most influential news, political news source in brussels. so look forward to more international politico events from us. but tonight we're convening three important conversations to set the table for this historic state visit. first we'll explore the turns and the obstacles for both of these leaders to work together, the newly elected government of prime minister justin trudeau and the outgoing administration of president barack obama. first politico's editor will kick us off. susan glacier will kick us off with a conversation on politic, economics and global trade. then we'll examine the prospects for a clean energy agenda for north next. lastly i'll conclude with a conversation about the syrian refugee crisis, what both countries are doing about it and what the implications are for border security. but before we get started, i
would like to thank the canadian-american business council for making tonight's event possible and i would like to introduce and thank scotty greenwood the executive director of the cadc. i've known scotty for a very long time and he first got to know canada as chief of staff to the u.s. ambassador in ottawa under the clinton administration. she has worked to increase the mutual understanding between two countries. she has been advocating for a state visit so i feel the prime minister owes something to scotty tonight. so thank you, scotty, for your sponsorship tonight. thank you so much. [ speaking foreign language ] thank you for coming. thank you politico, the whole gang. we're delighted to be partnering with you. hello to those of you tuning in.
let me say to people standing in the reel there's lots of seats here. please feel free to couple and sit up front. i see a lot of those obama administration officials in the back. you can be in the front row. this is your week. if state dinners are the super bowl of die plow nacy then this is the pre-game show so welcome to the pre-game. on behalf of the canada-american business council we're thrilled to be partnering with politico. we're thrilled with events and activities happening this week. it's not just about style, the state dinner is great but also about substance. we'll be watching carefully as i know you will to see what happens in the visit, what happens in the bilateral and the questions afterwards. we're very excited. i think this might be the first state fist with a hash tag tag, #phjtindc along with
the #newagenda. with that i want to say thanks on behalf of my colleagues. we're delighted to be here. we're looking forward to a terrific week. >> as scotty mentioned, you can follow the conversation on twitter at #newjen d#newagenda e you to tweet your questions to the moderators. without further delay i would like to welcome susan glacier who will lead the first conversation. [ applause ] good afternoon, everyone. thank you very much. i have to say i'm delighted that you are all here this afternoon and i have to tell you we have a terrific panel. for those people who have labored in the vineyards of u.s. canada policy issues this is a shock and amazing moment when people are actually paying attention and in fact, senator
klobuchar has been working on this issue for ten years as she just pointed out the me and is actually the vice chairman of the u.s.-chairman parliamentary group. we're delighted to have her with us today as well as john iverson. he's a political expert who went all across the country and came to this last presidential election. we're delighted to have him. and we have the director of global affairs. please join me in welcoming them. [ applause ] . as i said, i really wasn't being facetious. we had already jumped into our conversation back stage. i'll tell you we produce a lot of panel discussions here in washington. it's our contribution to the gross national product. most of them don't start back stage. politico right now, on our home
page, we're running an article called justin fever hits washington. and truly if you can predict of all issues which one would suddenly skyrocket to the top of our attention, you know, canada has been one of those worthy but front page subjects for a long time. here comes justin trudeau to the white house and all of a sudden politico is running headlines justin fever. we actually quote an unnamed -- probably good for his or her job -- white house official in that story. saying the new prime minister of your country is dreamy. perhaps it's a good contrast to our own presidential election. senator klobuchar, i want to ask you because you have been working on this issue for a long time when it wasn't front page news in washington. >> when it wasn't glamorous. >> you told me back stage there was a candidate cool factor now. >> i was thinking as you were talking about justin fever for
very long, canadians have been obsessed with president obama. so this is the justin -- i was telling her a few years ago my daughter was 20 and talking about what she should do with her future and in a moment that was reminiscent of "the graduate" i said canada. she has been giving he had grief for years but our time has come. when you think about president obama and the prime minister, obviously they both came in on platforms of change, right. and they came in at a time when the countries wanted to see something different and a new approach. but there is one thing different besides the fact that the president notes his hair is more grayer now. the one thing that's different is president obama came in at a time of crisis. we were in the worst economic free fall since the depression. and trudeau is coming in at a time where at least the economy is stable. giving him, i would say this
moment where he can do some of the things that obama had wished he had done from the beginning because he was dealing with everything from the stimulus package on down. so what the prime minister has been talking about, of course, is investing in clean energy and has been able we hop deliver on that and infrastructure and i think another piece of it is obama reached out to other countries and used a different approach when he got into office, and i know and am very heartened by the fact that prime minister is talking about extending canada's reach and upping their game internationally whether it is peace keeping, whether it is doing more with international aid and involvement. i think that's positive for the u.s. and i see it as being from minnesota where we can see canada from our porch, right. i see it as this major trading partner that so often gets overlooked. our number one trading partner. and a lot of interest in the
possibilities here of coordinating, whether it is our passage of goods across the border or whether it is our airports, that bridge from windsor to detroit, but also a lot of our manufacturing standards and other things that we can network form a north american trading bloc that is in a different global economy i think will help all three of our countries. >> i'm glad you mentioned trade because in a way one of the things that's interesting not an exciting new leader has dome renew our interest in the atmosphere of this relationship but there are some substantive issues on the table and clearly the trade deal now pending is one of those. on one hand, you have president obama who has extended a lot of his personal credibility in negotiating this tpp and actually you have prime minister trudeau who has yet to officially endorse it. what are the politics of that
and why would canada, you know, be reluctant to support something. is it because of the change of political administration in canada? what do you think? >> i think there are a couple of things going on there. the first is that the trade deal, the tpp was negotiated by the previous government and there was a sense there wasn't a lot of public discussion and there was a promise by the liberals during the election campaign they would go out and consult. trade minister has been doing that across the country. canada has signed as you know tpp joined a signing ceremony in new zealand but i think there are some issues that people are concerned about and there will be some pressure to see whether it's to get some side letters on a couple of key issues related to intellectual property. >> so, john, you covered the campaign. obviously we're in the midst of our heated u.s. presidential campaign and you actually have the concept of free trade under attack in both parties right now
from donald trump on the right and from bernie sanders on the left. you have a sense that whether you call it a new kind of nationalism or a moment of at least economic nationalism here in the states. what does the new progressism look like on canada's side, do you think there's more of a political tide running against free trade as a principle or is it very pragmatic? >> we'll hear more of that this week. i suspect when the white house called this morning the suggestion was very much that this is obama's top priority, and he will push for, i think, for trudeau to say something quite positive on it. the problem in canada, the left is anti-trade, the conservatives negotiated the tpp and agree with europe. the left has been traditionally the party of middle and
supported trade agreements like nafta and i suspect will support this one again. they have made a commitment to consult and there's a growing feeling that on pharmaceutical costs, on even some of the automakers, foreigners are against it, this would open up canada to japanese cars. there's a movement against it. and the liberals in canada have become experts at playing all sides of every issue. they wanted to pull out their fighter jets out of war with isis but still want to be part of the war. for the most part they got away with it. sooner or later they have to come don't on one side or another of the tpp and i think they will come down on the side of pro. he wants to get certain things and there are things like software, lumber we maid get a bit of quid pro quo.
>> a word politicians don't like to use. but i will ask you, senator klobuchar, how much do you think there's a possibility that here in the u.s. support for the tpp goes away based on the 2016 election results? >> oh, i don't know because i think mitch mcconnell mass made very clear that's something that will be considered after the election. lot of people think it will be considered in the lame duck. you could basically have the same congress or congress that had already passed the tpa, which needed significantly more votes than the tpp. so i think time will tell. many of us are still looking at the tpp and it's not the number one thing on people's agenda right now as we focus on this crazy election time where one of the candidates who are no longer in the race actually talked about building a wall to canada.
>> wikeeping the north out. >> that was governor walker. >> building a wall. >> governor walker was asked about that. which actually was interesting from an american-canadian viewpoint because in my state at least and i talk to some people in wisconsin and others people are focused on that because they thought it was a pretty bad idea. they thought about how you would build it through the lake and other things and what would happen and the practical concerns. i think it goes to the fact that after 9/11 when we think of some of these border issues, and some of the work that prime minister wants to do, after 9/11 there was of course need for some changes. and what i remember first coming in to office is we were always talking about the passport cards and northern senators of the u.s. tried to make commerce work. very cognizant of the security concerns but always cognizant of also making commerce work.
so we got that pretty much taken care of. we now have some really, again, opportunities, opportunities to make the infrastructure better between the borders where we have some really busy intersection where we're trying to bring trucks in and possibly investing some private money in some of the border control areas as a possibility. we're doing that on the mexican border. the exciting news with our airports that finally now canada ago of them have pre-clearance which will allow people to fly american airports. i remember "the washington post" noted it was the only bill that passed in a month. a bill on getting luggage pre-screened to canada out of the canadian airport. >> does donald trump know about this >> i don't know. i don't know why i'm bringing it up. >> the whole question of the border and having freedom of
commerce across the border is an issue that i think is going to be a major topic over the next couple of days. >> my answer to this was number one when walker brought that up there was a lot of horrified faces in the northern states and i don't think it helped him much. and then the second thing is that counter to the fact i think the american people still want to keep good relations with canada is all our moves slowly but surely build security at canadian airport sos we have people feel comfortable to fly. eight airports already and hope to expand it and some of the other work that can to be done including the crazy situation with the windsor-detroit bridge. people in michigan and canada have notified build an additional bridge. i have been to that bridge and it's time to build an additional bridge despite the person that's been making money off that bridge. >> we've been talking about the trade. we'll have a whole conversation
later tonight on this question of border security and especially in the context of the much greater number of refugees from syria that canada has agreed to accept compared with the united states. the other conversation we'll have later on is about energy and i do want to ask you, this is seen as a major plank in the trudeau campaign with the idea we're going campaign on clean energy, huge shift from the previous harper prime ministership and yet at the same time macroeconomics of change have changed dramatically with the plunge in oil and gas. how do you all see that change and possibly having real repercussion on that u.s.-canada relationship? how is changing politics in canada. the plunge in price of oil. the economic change right now? >> the economy is stalling on that front. our economy is on a duel track.
our manufacturing industry and exports are doing relatively well particularly since the u.s. economy is picking up. but it's disheartening.y÷á; trudeau's promises to make all kind of changes as far as our climate change -- that's running into problems. you often think a prime minister and western system has a lot of executive power. very limited by constitution of canada with the province which have said we're not taking federal regulation on the carbon tax. >> we just had first ministers meeting of the provincial prers and they couldn't agree with moving forward with a clear policy around a bottom to carbon pricing. so that's going to be a major political issue for canada going forward and you know, i'm sure, that we've had great trouble in building any pipelines not just
because of keystone but even within canada to get energy to market. so there is going to be a continuing pressure around this in this time of transition. the government is fundamentally committed i'm sure to moving towards cleaner energy, to reducing our carbon imprint. at the same time that's a decades long transition and in the meantime we got figure out how to actually deliver product to market. >> do you see that there's a risk to the canadian economy if the united states were to elect a republican president regardless of donald trump or not in the divergent of strategies between the two countries? >> it is amazing we have coalescens of interest and lean the leading democratic candidate mrs. clinton is not as pro trade as the canadian government would like thoesh.
i think we'll see some accommodation having to happen no matter whether it's a democrat or a republican. >> on the energy front there's a lot of talk with the three kwurngs mexico and we're talkc n and canada. this election was something of a referendum on that. there were a lot of canadians that to do something about climate change. there are a lot of americans that to move interest. we want to move on a way that won't be devastating to our economy. that's why it was so difficult for this comparison when president obama came in, i know we wanted to get that renewable
ele electricity. >> the economy is not in recession but growing very slowly. and oil price issue. there's fiscal constraints on this government. he came in saying we would have modest deficits. he wanted to borrow modest amounts at low interest rates. the problem is we've seen those deficits go from 10 billion -- come to 30 billion in the next fiscal and the public is less on side with the deficit growing. we'll be back in balance in four years and debt to gdp ratio would fall over a period of time. none of those things look like it will happen. the campaigning is much easier than governing. >> he had a longer honeymoon than obama did. >> obama can give him some advice on what that transition feels like. this question about canada's the region world. you talked about how the prime
minister is finding already it's a difficult issue to navigate. you want to pull out canada's fighter jet presence in the war against isis but at the same time still get credit for being a part of this coalition. that's a needle they will thread this week. what do you think, steven, about the specific security role but more generally do you see canada as looking more inward as a result of this change in government? >> no. in fact i think the opposite. i think the government intends to look more outward and i think that there's a lot of impetus behind that. canadians, that was part of the election campaign. having said that there's a long term secular trend here, our development assistance internationally, our commitment around defense has been going down as a proportion to gdp for 20, 25 years. not just the harper government. there's a big change that has to take place. it can't just be imagining canada will be back to what it was in the '60s and liberal
internationalism and peace keeping. that's not the world we live in today. there will be some really hard choice about defense investments that need to be taken, procurement, about whether or not we will actually make increases to our overseas development assistance, and at what level. it's going to be really quite dramatic, i think, some of the decisions that have to be taken. >> i think when you look back at wales, canada inflation at 2%, bat 1% now. so when you look at some of these major issues, afghanistan, canada was proud of their role in being by our side, still giving some funding, troops in iraq while planes withdrawn still having trainers on the front line working against isis, certainly strong on ukraine and helping there with a major ukraine jian population in cana.
and the decisions which i whole heartedly have to agree that have to be made the gesture, the worldwide gesture that trudeau showed when he went to that airport and agreemented those refugees. that was broadcast the world over. and they have the numbers to show it. they are now forecast to get about, right now, they've done 25,000 syrian refugees, forecast to do about 10,000 this year. they pledged to try to get up to 35 to 50,000 this year. i would agree the discussion in the campaign but also that moment at that airport just signified a different approach to the rest of the world. >> there's a lot of symbolism with this government and that was one of them. but the reality again, there's a defense review going on this year. we've seen in the platform that's going to be continental
defense, humanitarian aid in all of the four. we'll be fight being famine than war. there's not enough money in the not buy all they want to buy. >> we've done a horrible job on procurement for a long time. so a lot of catch up. >> senator klobuchar you called it a gesture, you called it symbolism. >> it's not symbolism when it's 25,000 real people with projection to be 35 to 50. i call it a symbol it that it meant something. if you do the symbol without actions, i'm saying the symbol is happening. >> can the u.s. match that >> the u.s. government has to step up. we have to do the vetting dynasty right way. the fact that canada has taken in more refugees shows we should have the ability to do this. >> another gesture that trudeau government made right away was to announce that 50% of its
cabinet would be women. the first time they had that in canada. we obviously never had anything like that whether in the u.s. senate or cabinet. should the next president of the united states make a floej have a 50% cabinet. >> i don't think the next president will do that. we tend to show by what we do and example. >> our example isn't very good. >> would love to see it happen. let me say if it's a woman president that's one big position taken by a woman. >> that counts for extra seats. >> big super delegate. >> not doing so well on members of female participant. >> that's 20%. >> that's higher than the u.s. congress. >> they are not talking positions. a lot of women in senior cabinet positions have been quite impressive. >> we're almost out of time. i would love to know each of your sort of predictions for what big takeaway we'll have
from this week. is it going justin fever, anything substantive come snout. >> if anything it ill be around trade and infrastructure related to trade. >> agree. >> singing kumbai. not much substance. >> planning to build that wall? >> i don't think so. >> will the wall have a door. donald trump said the wall to mexico will have a door in it. will the wall to canada have a door in it. >> a garage door so trucks can go through. >> this is a terrific conversation. i'm appreciative you kicked this off today and i look forward to it. we have a really robust group of people around and senator klobuchar i have to thank you very much. you labored ten years on this issue. you get to have a big week. >> i actually am the only senator that we have found that actually had my swearing in
party at the canadian embassy. true story. just wanting to again send that message that's being cents to our whole country and the world this week that this is our number one trading partner and as those proud banners were displayed on the canadian embassy for years, friend, partner, ally, they put that in our capital to send a message because that doesn't always happen from the rest of the world even when we help countries in the world they sometimes don't want to admit we work together and canada has gone the other way. it's going to be a great week to celebrate that friendship that's been a long time in coming. >> thank all of you. [ applause ] thanks so much, susan.
hi, everyone. i'm thrilled to be here tonight and to continue this event with conversation on a topic that's high on the agenda for prime minister trudeau and president obama's state visit and that is energy and climate change. i'm an energy reporter for politico. before i welcome our panelists to the stage just a quick reminder to join the conversation on twitter using a using #anewagenda. i can pull questions from twitter to ask our. panelists. please join me in greeting mr. robin sylvester. mr. greg dodson. senior representative to the u.s. for the government of alberta. and anthony swift director of the natural resources defense
council's canada project. well, thanks for being here and let's get started, everyone. one thing that struck me in today's initial announcements on energy and climate change was the oil and gas industries involvement. and specifically on the question of methane. president obama has made a commitment to cut methane by as much had a s% over the next decade and canada is expected to meet that pledge. but there's some hurdles involved that i'm hoping we can first turn to greg to address. what more do you need to see other than these base levels of commitment from these two governments? >> i think that there's so much common ground between canada and the united states there are potentially many areas for them to work together on. methane is one of them. as you look past over the several years we have a highly integrated automotive sector. we have a policy.
we're increasingly connected physically with cross border transmission lines. there's 30 of them. what that is resulting in is soofrt robust and growing trade in clean energy. this is just a promising set of areas, i think, for the leaders to engaging. unfortunately over the last few years they have been completely obsessed and the national conversation has been controlled by this, by keystone xl. i think we're nine a situation that project is behind us. we have prime minister trudeau's landslide election in october. we can turn the page. i think working forward on methane is a really good example of where the countries can work together. in both cases you have a situation where federal governments have network with their states and provinces to get it done. could be a series of rulemaking. it is in the united states and probably canada as well.
>> anthony, you've made methane a major poichnt of contention. >> certainly we have seen -- i would say that there have been past commitments to harmonize the u.s. an canada froch methane. we're hoping to see something closer 40% to 45% reduction by 2025 something that may hint at measures to deal with existing sours of methane. that would certainly be more ambitious than what's on the table. it's part of -- methane is going to be part of the solution when it comes to the u.s. and canada meeting their climate targets, but it's not going to be the only part. much broader -- broader range of opportunities when it comes to electrification, electric
vehicle projects and policies to make sure we incentivize what we need to the slower down the higher carbon projects. >> absolutely. i'm glad you mentioned that because the next topic is what exactly we should, you know, use to judge our project. you guys often we fer to the climate test as the benchmark. as a reporter who covered keystone xl for five years i heard climate test and what does that mean. we've seen some great principles on what that would look like. they are referring to alberta and oil and other energy projects. from your perspective do you think a climate test should be applied and what would that look like? >> we can't continue to increase
our emission limit. we have a commitment to reduce methane emissions by 2025 by 45%. an economy wide price on carbon comes in at $20 a ton in 2017 and increases to january 2018 to $30. we've also institute ad cap on emissions so as i said we do believe if we continue to drive the economy. the other thing we've done is phase out electricity. 40% of our electricity comes from coal. we'll phase out coal by 2030. 30% of alberta's electricity will come from renewables. with the election of the new government in alberta and ottawa there's a real change coming out
of canada. >> when it comes to this climate test, a model for future emissions, two degree world as we said post-paris is that something could see ultimately being integrated maybe on a provincial level or national level. >> the federal government changes its regulatory process for projects going forward alberta will take a look into that. the reality as well resources are finding a way to market now. they are going by rail. and the building of a pipeline lead to greater emissions or displacing and producing emissions if a pipeline is a lower option transportation. >> absolutely. to our audience and for those who didn't follow the paris talks too closely the united nations climate discussion focused on what it mean to avert a 2 degree celsius temperature
impact. when we talk about that climate test that's what's in our mirror looking ahead. greg and ethiopian if you want to jump on what a climate test would or should look like specifically. >> i would just say i think the government of alberta deserves a lot of credit for the steps they are take. its making up for lost time. the oil sector is going through an amazing and historic change right now and there's real questions about how much of various resources are going to be developed in different parts of the world. i think the key thing parisçéfh do is help get countries on the same page about where we're headed and once we understand that and policies flow from that a lot of business certainty will creep out to everyone. >> i might add that, i would also agree alberta made a strong step forward with their climate plan. i might push back a little on
the idea that a climate test would simply be a means of focusing on one province or sector. they are really opportunities in the u.s. and canada that are broad in terms of long term infrastructure decisions in which a climate test can provide decision makers with a road map for determining whether a project or policy is economically consistent with a two degree celsius scenario or not. as a bit of a background how we see that working, you know, right now we're looking at long term planning. we rely on models that assume five to six degrees celsius warming. those sorts of models for economic markets assume much higher robust prices for fossil fuels. moving forward after paris, part of one of the necessary steps to provide decision makers with the tools they need to make
decisions that are in accordance their commitments in paris model out what a 2 degree celsius environment, market does for global prices, for fossil fuels and clean energy. that may very well be -- that may create decision-making dynamic where, you know, clean energy projects become more economically viable than they would in a six degree celsius world where other projects are less viable. >> a very important point. since mentioned the entire skeechl energy projects let's pull back 120,000 feet. what are the main deliverables that you expect from these u.s.-canada meetings this week on the topic of energy. >> first of all it's great they are meeting. first state visit in 19 years. that's fabulous. the preime ministers had a meeting with the premiers where they spent a day talk about clean energy, innovation, how we
can move forward and the fact our economy is so integrated to couple with some common goal, common achievables. for alberta to take the step we did, alberta is essentially the texas of canada. for us to have those types of policies we would love it for our major competitors in the u.s. that we have taken to a price on carbon, take steps on methane. we're very much like everyone else anxiously awaiting and hope i want does create some type of opportunities to pursue some real partnerships. >> to greg an anthony to narrow that a little bit. president obama has less than a year left. what concretely do you guys expect of these commitments can actually be carried out before the president leaves office. >> i wouldn't under estimate the value of merely reaching the agreement. i think that's very important for the next administration. but underneath that i think there are important steps to be taken on methane. i think that the arctic is an
area that's right for collaboration. both canada and the united states are arctic nations. arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet and there's a lot that can to be done opinion addresses black carbon. collaboration on arctic science would be a tremendous step forward for two nation. there's a lot that can be done there. i would not under estimate the value of the two countries working together in other international forums. if they are in international civil aviation trying to get addressed on aviation emission that's very important. those are things that can happen this year. i also reserve the right to be surprised because i think what you have here are motivated leaders that to get things done and when that happens, surprising things can happen. so i'll be watching as everyone will be for the next couple of days to be surprised.
>> absolutely. often we learn in washington just being on the same page can be enough as you state. anthony, anything to add? >> i agree with greg on that point and i might refrain that point what can't be don't do year. in many ways the administration and the u.s. have been moving forward on many areas where it has authority to regulate carbon and methane emissions. to some extent the administration has plenty of room to run on climate and to further establish its legacy. >> absolutely. turning to robin. provide what we thought was an amazing case study about the on the ground challenges transitioning to clean energy. if you could tell the audience what you encountered at your port switching to shore power applying these general principles. >> ports in many ways set at the nexus of the public and private-sector. trade is critical to both our
economies and moving products by marine vessel is the most efficient way. ports and shipping are large energy users. the "grey's anatom the framework we've established was collaboration between ourselves and seattle and tacoma and the ports there to proactively set goals for carbon reduction recognizing at the end of the day the air floss across the border flow easily and we want to impact in a positive way. this was a collaboration set up in 2007 that declared common goals for carbon reduction, common goals for diesel reduction and every five years do an inventory of the port system in each port and report publicly how we were doing. and the big advantage there was some transparency and accountability and also clear common goals. what that led to it allowed for
each port to network achieve those goals in its own way and to prioritize different projects. one of the projects that both us and seattle have been putting forward is shore power and for both washington, d.c. we're fortunate we have warring quantity of hydropower. plugging a ship when it's in port they can shut off the diesel engine and draw hydropower. that needs investment right through the chain. we need the ships to invest, investment in shore structure. and getting all those things to come together isn't easy. it's been story have that common goal, and to recognize that while we may compete as ports with each other to get the cruise ships, we don't want to be competing on the environment. we'll compete on other factors but having a common standard with environment.
>> about infrastructure, commercially you need long term predictability for majorer private sector investments. >> that's true. you hear that a lot. >> so the more we can sort of create the environment to give that certainty the better. one final example. another thing we've done proactively in vancouver is our equal protection program. if they are meeting various international standards for green shipping they get a reduction. that's what's helping us meet these clean energy targets. >> very interesting. does that make, you know, our other three panelists more amped up about private-public coordination now that folks on
the same page about climate goals. >> public-private collaboration is a big part of this. i think one of the pieces here is that transition to a clean energy economy is going to require getting the policies right to ensure that industry has a right incentives to expand and make long term investments that will lower carbon emissions and build economic growth in areas. i think we've seen that play out in both canada and the u.s. to some extent but no question that there's quite -- there are many more opportunities for that to play out on a much larger scale moving forward. >> absolutely. a big aspect of this certainty factor that you discussed that businesses want i encounter as an energy reporter and cross border infrastructure, the bulwa
rr bulw bulwark here. folks working on these issues have a hard time keeping it straight. i want anyone's thoughts on whether that system can or should be changed to make it more simplified these approvals? >> we saw legislative proposals in the last few years to try to integrate those decisions in to one decision maker. i personally don't see a lot of benefit of doing that. typic so what i would tend to focus on rather than procedural purity or reform is to focus on what's the outcome sfwhept twe want is a l emission future. that's how we should be testing
legislative proposals. >> i would agree with greg on that. again not to throw out the hobby horse but to some extent that's why we need to begin to consider climate in a way that we haven't in infrastructure decision-making process, in a consistent forum. both project sponsors and decision makers understand exactly the criteria that projects are going to be judged on and that is does this project make sense in the context of our commitments following paris. and i think that would provide quite a bit more certainty to the process. >> absolutely. from the canadian perspective? >> from a public policy perspective you want regulatory certainty. industry wants that. public wants that. so, it's as important to us that the system works as it is to industry. most importantly people need have confidence in their
regulators. alberta, ouring regulat inregul major operator down for noncompliance. i think regardless of how the system structured people need have faith that it was doing the job it was set you want to do. >> seems they have made huge strides on that especially lately with the carbon fee which is what i want to ask you about. that caught a lot much folk's attention pup have the texas of canada as you point out putting out a carbon fee where the texas of america is not there yet. could you describe that a little bit more in terms of how you see that setting the bar for entire nation or at least other provinces p.m. >> a price on carbon of some form is key to any real action on climate change. we realize we're very blessed
with oil and gas resources, other points have hydro and other source of electricity. our emissions are high. we could do it. other jurisdictions their energy is hydro, they made big reductions for them to make that final push is heard. the way canada works each jurisdiction needs to make a plan that works best for them. but we believe each jurisdiction needs to take action and we're pleased to have a willing partner in the federal government. if we can have that national coordination and have that binational coordination it will lead to better prosperity and outcomes for the entire continent. >> in brush columbia we have carbon tax as well. again, very much in mind to what you were saying. it was a system that was set up
specifically sort of recognizing the environment in british columbia. the tax revenue was used to offset business tax rights. behavior has changed. there's still some carbon intensive industries that grappled with that tax. they will echo the view some sort of national or transnational framework to keep the fields level competitively for these things to be successful. >> which raises a great followup. as far as i know we're not quite sure what kind of clean energy investments will receive the funding this tax will generate. if we are let me know. >> funding will be used for all the revenue used for green infrastructure, transit, initiatives like that. and also helping low-income families adjust and those communities that are heavily dependent on the coal industry
to make that adjustment from coal nor renewable source of electricity. >> you don't site on the oil industry doing carbon capture -- >> there's a huge investment in alberta in carbon capture and storage. and there's a couple of projects that are up and running. shell has a big project that came on in line in november. we have a climate change emissions funds in alberta so friar our economy wide we had something called specified gas emitters. large point industrial sources pay a fee if their emissions are over a certain bar. one of the other changes is that as opposed to each, in each individual point source having to reduce its emissions -- now they are going a sector wide performance standard. so those industries that are performing better than that average, one fact paid a lower amount for longer.
it's a very strong incentive to industry to come as next as important, as quickly as possible. some of the funds generated will go into funding. >> very interesting. greg and anthony to kick the carbon tax toish and ask what signal you think this might send to american policymakers. >> i think we're in an exciting transition period not just the united states, not just north america but the planet as a whole. british columbia there's a $30 per ton carbon tax. in alberta we learned about the $25 per ton carbon tax. quebec, ottawa are doing trading. they are linked with california. we're legally connected in ways related to climate change. the northeastern states have a cap and trade program. in the united states right now one-third of our economy lives
under price in carbon, 25% of the population i was understand price in carbon. in mexico we have a $3.50 price per ton on carbon. it's happening in china and european union. we're at this period now where our children will group in a world and see these systems grow together in some way. >> our political debate is vitriolic. canadian and american debates have gotten very sharp on this. anthony, how can sort of this week of discussions help sort of eliminate that? >> i think one part of this is concentrating on the opportunities that are really before us in terms of both clean energy strategies and climate poilgs. the reality is many of these policies actually build economic growth. we've seen that in the united
states and i think there are many opportunities with the alberta economic plan in alberta for development of a clean energy. moving forward at the 20,000-foot level, we're at a stage where a new conversation has begun. it's really focusing on all the opportunities between the u.s. and canada to build a deeper integration as they move forward to ameliorate their paris targets. this week is a point, perhaps not the end point if that makes any sense. >> absolutely. >> which brings up the power of symbolism which is something that's on my mind this week
because both the u.s. and canada from folks like myself and the media a lot of static going on about whether the targets can be met. every time there's a new regulatory push we need to crunch the numbers. but it's important that these two leaders meeting together, pretty similar, almost identical climate agendas right now. how do you suppose these leaders should navigate the challenge we got these targets and big questions whether we can do that and look how important it is we're meeting on these issues and we agree. >> well certainly, i mean yeah the high level, the meeting of, you ghorks of the top ten emitters plays an important symbolic role, the fact that we are aligned in aspiration is critical. and i would say, you know, our targets are ambitious, but we have little doubt that these are meetable.
if you look at many of the steps that have been made they are likely to have between curve in ways that models hasn't shown yet, and of course we're seeing a dramatically different energy environment that's doing us some favors by reducing emission projections. so i think -- another way of putting this the consequence much not meeting these targets would be substantial and potentially much more catastrophic than any cost of meeting them and we're finding that the policies that we need to meet these targets actually build economies and will position both canada and the united states to compete in a world transition to clean energy. >> if i could add on the canadian side the prime minister met without the premier's last week to talk about canada's plan on climate change and if you read the vancouver declaration
that came out of that there's the aspirational and then interim steps where you're transparent to demonstrate to people. you could change your mind along the way how you get from a to b but it's that element of keeping people engaged. that's hugely important. >> very important points. yes much transparency, especially the press. >> greg, any thoughts on this? >> i think one final point to make, i would make is that these two leaders are in different points in their careers. i think that prime minister deserves credit. he's been in office six months. i think he had to work very fast
and did so successfully pour the paris agreement and we're just a few months past that. i think we'll see -- there's a lot of conversation, a lot of infrastructure, capacity building and thought that's going to happen in canada in the coming years. and i think that emphasizes the importance of the upcoming election here in the united states so he continues to have a partner that will agree with him on the policy goals. >> robin, from the industry's perspective about substance here. >> what comes back is the more a common roadmap can be created, the more that gives the space and unlocks the private sector to deliver a solution. if we get lost in differential approaches with differential targets, we probably don't achieve as big a goal as we can get to, recognizing there will be local differences but heading in a common direction. >> we're running low on time.
i'm glad you brought up the coming election. i'm very curious, gitane to hear how you might think that might affect the canada perspective because we don't know whether a democrat or republican will be here in a few months. >> certainly in canada we watch u.s. elections closely. whoever you elect we will work with. there's more pro canada on the democratic side than the republican side. we will watch with great interest of the coming weeks and months and take it from there. >> admirably even handed. with that, i guess we're out of time. i wanted to thank our panel for being here. you've been wonderful. thank you in the audience. your insight has been great. and now for our final conversation, i would like to welcome back louisa savage, politico's director of events. >> thank you elana, thank you everyone. thank you for staying with us this evening for our final conversation. we'll be talk about the refugee
crisis and the implications for border security. without any delay i'd like to welcome to the stage our esteem panelist, alan ber sten the assistant secretary for international affairs and the chief diplomatic off for the u.s. department of homeland security. laura dawson is the drkt tore of the canada institute at woodrow wilson center and simon hen shaw, from the bureau of population of refugees at the department of state. and commissioner gill cure cows ski from u.s. customs and border protection. thank you all for being here. [ applause ] >> six months ago the trudeau government was elected on this ambitious promise of taking in and resetting 25,000 syrian refugees. last month that mission was announced to be accomplished. previously canada took in all
told 20,000 refugees per year. this is not only a big increase oorps but in the context of a u.s. comparison, that would be like taking in almost 250,000 refugees into the united states. so there have been a lot of questions raised here in washington about what that really means for this country. i'd like to discuss today how this policy is being implemented in canada, how it compares to the united states' own refugee policy, what it means for u.s. border security and what kinds of new border policies or agreements we can expect to emerge from these meetings between the prime minister and the president this week. so i'd like to kick it off with laura. you've testified to the united states senate explaining canada's refugee policies. can you tell us in a nutshell how these refugees are being resettled, where they're going and how they're being vetted? >> sure. and to start with, the most important thing to know about
this is this is a very low risk group of refugees who are coming to canada. this is something like 60% women, 20% children. these are folks who have been in a refugee camp for a long time, and there's a great deal of pre vetting that goes on to begin with. what tends to happen is in the government system, they're first vetted by the u.n. high commissioner for refugees and they come up with a short list, in the private system, a similar short list takes place. once they're short listed, canadian immigration officials get involved and there's a lot of vetting, communication, inspection, checking, security, health, medical records, all of the canadian checks are checked against american lists. it's an automatic process until all of the eyes are dotted and
the t's are crossed. until every check is verified, nobody gets on a plane. it's not like they're getting to canada and see if they make a secure process. it's all done before they leave wherever they happen to be. >> how are they finding homes? >> how are they finding homes? well, there's a public and a private program w. the public program the government assists them in finding homes. with the private program, faith-based groups, church groups are helping. two-thirds in the government program, one-third in the private program. you say it's a big number. you're right. it absolutely is a big number, 25,000. canadians have risen to the occasion. the communities have gotten really involved. they're taking this initiative very seriously, very personally. if you look at canadian history, vietnamese boat people, post
world war ii, post hungry uprising, there's a tradition of taking in refugee, people in need and integrating them into communities. >> tell us about the political context. it's really hard to imagine a scenario here of a political leader making this such a big selling point where it's been so controversial. my understanding is in canada the controversy has been more about, are you doing it fast enough or well enough. is that correct? >> yes, that seems to be the ca case. trudeau has challenged canadians to define the kind of people they are, which i am, the kind of people we are, that canadians are welcoming and canadians value diversity and canadians provide a safe haven to people in need. i think if there was a tipping point, it may have been the tranlic photo of the toddler on the beach, canadians saw that and their hearts were broken.
they said no more, we're going to assist. we're going to do what we need to do to help the syrians anyway we can. >> mr. crenshaw, earlier this evening senator klobuchar said she thought the united states could do more. could you tell us what the united states is doing, what your strategy is on refugees and also how does that number get set to take 10,000 versus 25,000? >> thanks. asking about our strategy leads me to want to talk about the overall program and then i'll get into resettlement. our overall focus is supporting refugees overseas where they are so they can return to their countries once war or whatever led them to flee has ended. much of our effort goes overseas. the united states is the largest funder of refugee programs overseas. in syria and the