Parliamentarians look on as U.S. President Joe Biden addresses Parliament in the House of Commons, on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Friday, March 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick


U.S. President Joe Biden delivered an address to Canadian parliamentarians in the House of Commons on Friday, during his first visit to Ottawa since taking office in 2021.

Here are some excerpts from his speech.

On the ties that bind — and hockey rivalries

“No two nations on Earth are bound by such close ties, friendship, family, commerce and culture. Our labour unions cross borders. So do our sports leagues. Baseball, basketball, hockey … I have to say, I liked your teams except the Leafs … I tell you why. They beat the (Philadelphia) Flyers back in January. That’s why. And if I didn’t say that — I married a Philly girl — If I didn’t say that I’d be sleeping alone. Fellows, I like you, but not that much.”

On being better together

“In war and in peace, we have been a stronghold of liberty, safeguard for the fundamental freedoms that literally give our lives meaning. We have gladly stepped into the responsibilities of global leadership, because we understand all that is at risk for Canadians and Americans alike when freedom is under attack anywhere in the world. Today, our destinies are intertwined. And they’re inseparable. Not because of inevitability of geography, but because it’s a choice. A choice we’ve made, again and again. The United States chooses to link our future with Canada because we know that we’ll find no better partner. I mean this from the bottom of my heart: no more reliable ally, no more steady friend. And today, I say to you, and to all the people of Canada, that you will always, always be able to count on the United States of America.”

On facing the future

“Together, we built a partnership that is an incredible advantage to both our nations. That doesn’t mean we never disagree, as any two countries will do from time to time. When we disagree, we solve our differences in friendship, and in goodwill, because we both understand our interests are fundamentally aligned. As we stand at this inflection point in history … where the decisions we make in the coming years, will determine the course of our world for decades to come. It happens every five or six generations, but we’re at that point. Nothing gives me greater confidence in the future, the knowing connect candidate and United States stand together still.”

On interconnected economies

“The Inflation Reduction Act … represents the single largest commitment in tackling climate in our history — as a matter of fact, the single largest investment in all of human history. And it’s going to spur clean energy investments all over the world. And explicitly, explicitly includes tax credits for electric vehicles assembled in Canada — recognizing how interconnected our auto industries are and our workers are. I am the most pro-union president of America has ever had. I speak to a hell of a lot of Canadian union members. Look, this is a model for future co-operation, with both our nations investing at home to increase the strength of our industrial bases, making sure the products manufactured in North America are not only manufactured, but they’re the best in the world. You know, we’re going to amplify our shared commitment, climate action, while growing our economies.”

Continental security

“We’re also an Arctic nation. We both recognize the critical importance of this region to our collective security and the interest of other nations all of a sudden in the Arctic. We’re working in close co-ordination to steward and protect the northernmost reaches of our world. And we are American nations, deeply invested in ensuring that the Western Hemisphere is peaceful, prosperous, democratic and secure. And that starts with our commitment to defending our people and our own sovereign territory. Norad is the only binational military command in the world … Yet another way in which our partnership is exceptional, it is an incredible symbol of the faith we have in one another, and the trust we placed in each other’s capabilities.”

On diversity

“The incredible diversity that defines each of our nations is our strength. And Prime Minister Trudeau, and I know this is a belief that you and I share, we both built administrations that look like America and look like Canada. I’m very proud that both of us have cabinets that are 50 per cent women, for the first time in history. Even you don’t agree, guys, I’d stand up. We took the lesson from you. Because the bottom line is this: We make it easier for historically under-represented, underserved communities to dream, to create, to succeed, we build a better future for all our people.”

On going to the moon

“In just a few days, NASA is going to announce an international team of astronauts who will crew the Artemis II mission. The first human voyage to the moon since Apollo mission ended more than 50 years ago will consist of three Americans and one Canadian. We choose to return to the moon together — together we return to the moon. And from there, we look forward to Mars and to the limitless possibilities that lie beyond. And here on Earth our children who watch that flight are going to learn the names of those new pioneers. They’ll be the ones who carry us into the future we hope to build.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2023.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2023. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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