My Speech to Prime Minister Trudeau and the People of Canada:
Vice President Biden delivered remarks in Ottawa at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada. Below are excerpts from his speech.
The way I look at our relationship — and I know sometimes we’re like the big brother that’s a pain in the neck and overbearing — and I mean that sincerely. I get it. But we’re more like family, even than allies. And I really mean that. At least that’s the way the vast majority of Americans feel about Canada and Canadians. It’s like family.
And the friendship between us is absolutely critical to the United States, our well-being, our security, our sense of ourselves. And I hope you feel it’s critical to you, as well. (Applause.)
Few nations on Earth share more than America and Canadians. Our histories and our cultures have sprung from the same root. Our economies and our livelihoods are inseparable. And our values, they come down to a simple proposition my dad would say, and they’re similar, the abhorrence of the abuse of power — whether it’s physical, economic, or political, as well as the notion that every single woman and man deserves to be treated with dignity. I mean that sincerely.
It’s not just in our Constitutions, we hold these truths self-evident, but it’s about dignity. It’s about dignity. (Applause.)
And I’ve observed there’s another similarity. There is no quit in Canada. There is no quit in the Canadian people. I really mean it. There is no quit in America. There’s no quit in the American people. It’s never, ever, ever been a good bet — and I’ve met every major world leader for the last 37 years because of the nature of my job — and I tell them the same thing, and I’d say it about you, it’s never, never, ever, ever been a good bet to bet against America or Canada.
It’s never been a good bet because of the resiliency of our people.
We’ve stood together — we’re standing together right now, facing down ISIL in Syria and Iraq, bolstering our allies in Eastern Europe, particularly Latvia; combating climate change, which I guess we’re going to get a chance to talk about tomorrow. The most consequential issue of our generation.
And as you look around the world at this ebb and flow, as I’ve watched in my career, there are periods where the number of genuine leaders on continents are in short supply, and when they’re in heavy supply.
So the world is going to spend a lot of time looking to you, Mr. Prime Minister, as we see more and more challenges to the liberal international order than any time since the end of World War Two.
But I am absolutely confident that we in North America are better positioned than any time since the end of World War Two to lead the world, to lead the hemisphere, to move it to a place in a way that we haven’t seen. The opportunities are immense. Immense. From the cure of cancer, to by the time your children are able to go to the airport on their own, they’re going to be flying subsonically at 22,000 miles an hour. The changes that are going to take place are going to be astronomical. The progress that’s going to be made. But it’s going to take men like you, Mr. Prime Minister, who understand it has to fit within the context of a liberal economic order, a liberal international order. And there’s basic rules of the road.
We’re going to get through this period because we’re Americans and we’re Canadians.
And so had I a glass, I’d toast you by saying, Vive le Canada.