Well, it's now confirmed: Justin Trudeau will meet with Donald Trump this coming Monday in Washington. According to reports from CBC News, Justin Trudeau will among other things, discuss Canadian values with the American President. This will be the first in-person meeting between the world leaders, although the Prime Minister did congratulate Trump after January's inauguration ceremony.
Since then, it's remained relatively civil between the two North American figureheads, but many Canadians have been outspoken in their displeasure with Trump and his White House administration. More recently, Trudeau shared a bit of shade on his Twitter account in the wake of America's controversial travel ban. First came a friendly reminder of Canada's open door policy for war-afflicted refugees. The follow up message was a photo of the PM greeting a Syrian girl at an airport in 2015. Both were warm gestures no doubt, but far from a coincidence and an obvious jab that surely reached the eyes and ears of Donald J. Trump.
When news of Monday's summit reached the press earlier today, Trudeau was asked if he would indeed discuss the travel ban with Donald Trump. His response proved to be a bit of a dodge. "As everyone in Canada knows, I have two important responsibilities that stand out in the way we engage our neighbours to the south," he told reporters. "The first is, of course, to highlight Canadian values and principles and the things that keep our country strong. The second responsibility that I have, which we will very much be engaged in, is creating jobs and opportunity for Canadian citizens through the continued close integration on both sides of the border."
The Prime Minister reiterated Monday's agenda on Twitter and judging from the wording, it doesn't sound like there will be much discussion outside of trade relations. It's a stark contrast from Trudeau and former President Barack Obama's certified bromance, which was born out of a mutual admiration and a shared set of ideals. One can only imagine how difficult it will be in finding much common ground between the Republican and Liberal leaders. We'll all just have to wait and see what comes of their meeting, when the two address the media following their discussion next week.