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Did Saturday’s protests stop Trump from visiting Canada?

Thousands marched in Ottawa on Saturday vs the Trump agenda.

Did a mass mobilization of tens of thousands of people on Saturday just succeed in stopping the U.S. president from visiting Canada?

60,000 people marched in Toronto, 15,000 in Vancouver, 8,000 in Ottawa, 800 in Nanaimo, 500 in Courtenay, 400 in Fredericton, and hundreds more in communities across the country. The Council of Canadians Victoria, Mid-Island, Kelowna, Comox Valley, Northwest Territories, Quinte, Guelph, Centre Wellington, Windsor, London, Ottawa, Hamilton, Montreal, Fredericton, Saint John and PEI chapters took part in rallies.

Here’s the chronology of events:

1- On November 10, 2016, the day after Donald J. Trump was elected to be the President of the United States, CBC reported, “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invited U.S. president-elect Donald Trump to visit Canada ‘at his earliest opportunity’. Asked by reporters how he would explain to children that a ‘sexist, racist, bully’ was taking office, Trudeau stressed the need to promote a strong working relationship with anyone who the American people elect.”

2- On Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, her parliamentary secretary Andrew Leslie, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr were all in Washington, DC for Trump’s inauguration. Trudeau also issued a statement highlighting, “On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend my congratulations to Donald J. Trump on his inauguration as 45th President of the United States of America.”

3- On Saturday, the Canadian Press reported, “The Prime Minister’s Office says the two men spoke by phone Saturday. The Prime Minister’s Office said in an email that the two men ‘looked forward to meeting soon’.”

4- But by late-Saturday morning, Trudeau had tweeted, “Congratulations to the women and men across Canada who came out yesterday to support women’s rights. You keep your government inspired.”

5- And by Sunday night, The Globe and Mail reported, “Trudeau and Trump have pledged to meet, but a high-profile visit to Parliament any time soon seems unlikely. Sources familiar with the Trudeau government’s plans say Canadian officials are worried that mass protests would disrupt Mr. Trump’s visit to Canada, and that view has been shared with the President’s team.”

Yesterday evening’s Globe and Mail article also notes, “One senior Canadian official said that if Mr. Trump were to hold off on visiting Canada for several months, it should not be taken as a sign that relations between Canada and the United States are frosty. ‘Actually, we’re getting along quite well with these guys’, said the official, who was not authorized to speak on the record. ‘Just because Trump may not come here first, doesn’t mean there may not be a meeting soon in Washington’, the official said, adding there was no knowledge of such a meeting yet.”

That article then highlights, “The official said that Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and senior PMO officials are in daily contact with Mr. Trump’s team.”

On January 6, CTV reported, “Trudeau’s top advisers have had about a dozen high-level meetings with President-elect Donald Trump’s most trusted officials. The two sides have met 10 or 12 times since the U.S. election, and as recently as [January 3] — a five-hour meeting between Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, his principal secretary Gerry Butts, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.”

In other words, Trudeau has both congratulated Trump on his election and invited him to Canada, has spoken with him at least twice now by telephone, sent his top ministers to Washington for the inauguration, has his foreign minister and top advisers in daily contact with Trump’s team, with a senior official saying they are all “getting along quite well”, but now a visit to Canada isn’t likely any time soon.

On Sunday Trump confirmed that he would be meeting with Trudeau soon, but given the news this meeting will presumably happen in Washington.

Hopefully further mass mobilizations will “inspire” Trudeau to demand that water, energy proportionality and the investor-state clause be removed from the North American Free Trade Agreement and cause him to reconsider his “steadfast” support for the 830,000 barrel per day Keystone XL pipeline, which Trump also backs.