Roxham Road on the agenda: A concrete announcement for Biden's visit?

Roxham Road on the agenda: A concrete announcement for Biden's visit ?


OTTAWA | Of the many topics that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden will be discussing in the next 24 hours, managing the flow of migrants at Roxham Road may well be the subject of a concrete announcement.

This is what Mr. Trudeau suggested today, indicating that “we have been working closely with the Americans for several months to restore the situation on Roxham Road […] then we will perhaps have something to announce.” 

Apart from the issue of refugees, “obviously we're going to talk about China,” said Mr. Trudeau. Symbolic of a world geopolitics under high tension, the meeting of the two North American allies will take place the same week as that of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Busy agenda

On the agenda, there will also be jobs, growth, critical minerals and the fight against climate change, aid to Ukraine , the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, defense, the Arctic, foreign interference, the banking crisis, the trade in electric vehicles and lumber and the regulation of the giants of the web.

« A rather busy agenda, “said the spokesman for the Security of the American president, John Kirby, yesterday

On web giants, US trade associations are urging Joe Biden to voice his concerns over Bills C-18 and C-11. These would force the American web giants to contribute to local culture and to pay the news media for the content they broadcast.

Un dodo au Canada

Roxham Road on the agenda: A concrete announcement for Biden's visit?

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister

Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau will therefore not have too many 24 hours to discuss. Rarely has an American president stayed overnight in Ottawa. Not even Barack Obama, who was close to Justin Trudeau and liked to play crowds in the Canadian capital.

This time, no cookie at the ByWard Market on the program, but several hours face-to-face between the two heads of state, starting with an informal evening this evening at Rideau Cottage, after a cocktail at the Governor General's, Mary Simon. They will then meet tomorrow in parliament alone, then flanked by their ministers and delegation. 

Three key issues of this visit 


Ten months after the Canadian announcement of a $4.9 billion investment for the modernization of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) radars, Americans will demand to see concrete progress on the defense of our skies and our Arctic, says Rob Huebert, a northern defense expert at the University of Calgary.

He points out that North America faces “an imminent threat” of Russian or Chinese missile attack, according to the Americans. They therefore need more than announcements of intentions to be reassured.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg himself expressed concerns during his visit to the Arctic last August: “The shortest route to North America for Russian missiles and bombers would be above the North Pole”.

At the same time, Joe Biden will not fail to ask for greater Canadian involvement in resolving the crisis in Haiti, predicts Eugene Lang, professor at Queen's University and former chief of staff of the Minister of Defence. 


Doing more in Haiti is essential, in particular to reduce the flow of asylum seekers from the island who are massing at the southern border of the United States and at Roxham Road. Exchanges on the two subjects should therefore be linked.

“If the Government of Canada wants to talk about Roxham, it must first recognize that the United States faces enormous pressure on its southern border. We must therefore be ready to tackle the root causes in Central America and Haiti,” explains Roland Paris, professor at the University of Ottawa and former foreign relations adviser to Justin Trudeau.

For Washington , Roxham is just a drop in the ocean of the deep migration crisis that is shaking the hemisphere: with 2.3 million arrests and deportation measures for undocumented migrants in 2022, our neighbor faces unprecedented pressure. 


Investments that make it possible to fight against climate change and adapt to it are a cause dear to Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau, who have a common vision on the energy transition.

However, Canada is not not immune to the American protectionism that permeates the Inflation Reduction Act, notes M.Paris. This massive program by the Biden administration authorizes US$369 billion in energy spending to counter climate change.

Canada wants to ensure that the United States will open the door to dozens billions in investments in clean energy, such as batteries. It must also ensure that our economy remains attractive in the face of the magnitude of tax credits, grants and loans offered by Washington. 

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