As the world moves through a period of deep uncertainty, U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be a defender of the international “rules of the road.”
Biden issued the call during an address at a state dinner in his honour in Ottawa on Thursday night, during which time he said the fight against climate change remains the most important issue of this generation.
Though president-elect Donald Trump wasn’t mentioned by name, Biden made veiled references to the uncertainty gripping Europe and the United States since the recent presidential election as well as the Brexit vote by Britain to leave the European Union.
“The changes that are going to take place are going to be astronomical,” Biden said, emphasizing the need for leaders such as Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to step up. “The progress is 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, where there’s basic rules of the road.”
Biden described Canada as an ally the U.S. needs more than ever in front of a gala audience of former prime ministers, current provincial premiers and other dignitaries.
Biden plans to make climate change a major focus when he addresses Friday’s meeting of provincial premiers and aboriginal leaders in Ottawa.
A number of other issues will also be discussed, including international politics and health care spending.