OTTAWA — Although the Trudeau government moved to calm anxiety over the weekend about the effects of a controversial American travel ban, more vocal debate over the measure is expected today.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s senior aides and government officials worked the phones all weekend, looking for word from their U.S. counterparts that the ban didn’t affect Canadians with ties to the seven countries covered by the order.
Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said yesterday that the White House has provided assurances that Canadians with dual citizenship and permanent residents with a valid residency card and a passport from their home country will not be turned back at the American border.
However, those assurances haven’t satisfied the opposition New Democrats, who are pressing for an emergency debate when the House of Commons resumes today.
New Democrat MP Jenny Kwan wants to delve more deeply into how the American ban effects Canada and how the government plans to respond.
Government House leader Bardish Chagger seemed open to a debate, but noted the decision is up to Commons Speaker Geoff Regan.
U.S. officials are expected to hear firsthand today how Canadians feel about the ban that affects people from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya.
At least two protests are planned, one outside the American embassy in Ottawa and the other at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto.
The size of the demonstrations is unclear, but American diplomats are concerned enough that they have announced the consulate will temporarily suspend services to the public today.
The U.S. State Department tweeted Sunday that American citizens should exercise caution today if they’re in the vicinity of the embassy in Ottawa.