Americans reach across the border, urge Canadians to ignore Trump
By Steve LambertGeneral Manufacturing Canada manufacturing tariffs trade Trump US
Letters from US residents apologizing for Trump's behaviour have been appearing in Canadian newspapers.
TORONTO — Usually, it’s Canadians who are quick to say sorry. But US President Donald Trump’s recent bashing of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has prompted some Americans to reach over the border, apologize, and tell Canadians the two countries remain friends and allies.
And it’s not just celebrities such as actor Robert De Niro.
A group of friends in California wrote letters this week to 20 daily newspapers across Canada – a sort of carpet-bombing of kindness.
“Carpet-bombing with remorse and apology,” Robert Pierce, a retired college teacher, said with a chuckle from his home in Portola Valley, Calif.
“The vast majority of Americans do not hold any ill will towards Canada. We have no idea why we’re supposedly in a trade war.”
Pierce, his wife Frances and four friends were prompted to write letters to the editor after Trump said Trudeau had made “false statements” at a G7 summit news conference and went on to call the prime minister “very dishonest and weak.”
Trump threatened to go after Canada’s auto industry, a mainstay of the Ontario economy, in the same way he has already targeted the country’s steel and aluminum sectors.
Two days later, De Niro told a crowd in Toronto he wanted to apologize for the “idiotic” behaviour of the president.
The day after that, legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon told the crowd at his concert in Toronto to not pay heed to Trump’s remarks.
“That does not speak from the heart and soul of Americans,” Simon is seen telling the crowd in fan-shot video that has surfaced on social media.
“The idea that anyone could possibly say that Canada stabbed us in the back over tariffs, over milk, is simply ludicrous.”
In recent days, letters from US residents apologizing for Trump’s behaviour have been appearing in Canadian newspapers.
“Please know that we suffer with shame when these episodes happen, and are trying not to get used to them, as we are subjected to them every day. We love you,” wrote Elizabeth Marshall McClure of Norfolk, Va., to the Edmonton Journal.
“Please know that the boorish behaviour, bullying and ignorance of Donald Trump is appalling, not only to Canadians, but to many Americans,” Jennifer Rihn of Mountain View, Calif., wrote to the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.
The letter from Pierce and his friends urges Canadians to view the Trump administration as a temporary aberration in the relationship between the two countries.
“In the meantime, we hold our collective breath and pray that our valued relationships with friends and neighbours will not be irreparably damaged,” the letter states.
Pierce, who has travelled in Canada and has friends here, said he and his friends felt the letters were the best way to reach out directly to Canadians.
“What can we do? We write our Congress people and we try to get a hold of our senators and whatever.”
And his advice to Canadians?
“Just try and be the wonderful people that you’ve always been as neighbours, and try and help us get through this by turning the other cheek.”