Biden presidency bodes well for local industry say area leaders
LONDON, ONT. -- From local industry, to trade and tourism- there are great expectations that a Joe Biden presidency will be good for Southwestern Ontario.
“There’s some 37 states where Canada is their leading trading partner, and that really does have an impact on the business that we do together,” says London mayor Ed Holder, who served for several years on the International Trade Committee while in federal government.
He points to local industries with parent ownership in the United States that depend on amicable relations between the two countries.
“So I’m hopeful, I’m optimistic. Of course we’re waiting really for the border to open post-covid to be able to really attract more tourism both across Canada and the United States.”
Western University political science professor Matthew Lebo expects the Biden-Harris administration to be less protectionist than its predecessor, and more environmentally conscious.
“With a new plant coming to the region with electric cars, and a push in the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Accord, and more of a push for clean energy. That should certainly help. Joe Biden is certainly interested in buying American, but I imagine that the relationship and the trade relationship with Canada will really improve,” says Lebo.
Lebo adds that the relationship won’t be without its sticking points, such as the Keystone XL pipeline, which Biden is expected to cancel.
Closer to home, however, is the controversy over the so-called Line-5 Great Lakes pipeline, which connects western crude to refineries in Southwestern Ontario and the U.S. Midwest.
The governor of Michigan has vowed to shut it down. The mayor of Sarnia is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to appeal directly to President Biden to intervene. Mike Bradley is also writing to all of the municipalities in Ontario with populations over 50,000 to ask for their support.
“It’s going to raise your fuel prices. It’s going to put more trucks and rail cars into your community. And you should be prepared, there are consequences,” said Bradley.
Sarnia Lambton PC MP Bob Bailey has also been in talks with elected counterparts across the border in a bid to save the pipeline, which is tied to several thousand jobs across the region.
“Of course my colleagues across the river in Michigan, elected representatives like myself are also very interested in this because it affects the Upper Peninsula, Ohio, all the great lakes states. I’m working on it and we gotta stick together on this.”