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Friends, partners, allies: Ambassador praises U.S-Canada relationship on Canada Day

WASHINGTON, D. C. — The unmistakable smell of maple syrup and bacon drifted down Pennsylvania Avenue Monday morning not far from the United States Capitol building as families dressed in red and white gathered to celebrate home away from home at the Embassy of Canada in Washington.

“Today is about celebrating Canada. It’s about celebrating our people, our values,” said Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S.

The embassy’s Canada Day celebrations aimed to recreate a block party north of the international border with food, friends and family. Canadian music played as kids attempted to throw a beanbag in a giggle-filled game of cornhole.

The joyous tones of children singing rang out from the courtyard as the Chœur des enfants de Montréal sang a rendition of “Oh Canada” in English and French.

Hillman thanked Americans for taking part in the party. She said the relationship between Canada and the United States is the envy of the world.

“We are friends. We are partners. We are allies,” she said. “It’s something that we shouldn’t take for granted.”

It’s a message the ambassador has been bringing to Democrats and Republicans across the country ahead of the November U.S. election as the tight presidential race continues.

Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are selling protectionist policies that could impact Canadian trade. Whoever wins will also be in power during the review of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 2026.

It’s especially clear at this moment that not all countries in the world have a productive relationship like Canada and the U.S., Hillman said. The North American neighbours share a history, a geography and the longest land border in the world, she added.

“We are essential to each other’s success: economic success, security, resilience,” Hillman said. “It’s something that we shouldn’t take for granted.”

Hillman urged Canadians and Americans to take a moment this week as both Canada Day and Independence Day are celebrated to appreciate that relationship and ensure it continues to grow stronger.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2024.

Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press