The national security adviser of Canada’s former ambassador to the US, who was fired for failing to secure visas for the US ambassador, told the Ottawa Citizen in a scathing letter that Canada’s ambassador should “go back home to the States” because of “national security” concerns, The Canadian Press has learned.
John Baird, who led the Canadian government’s embassy in Washington during the 2016 presidential election campaign, told The Canadian PM’s website that US President Donald Trump’s recent tweets are a threat to Canada’s “security and national interests.”
In his letter to Trudeau, Baird said he told Trudeau about the threat posed by Trump’s tweets in early November, but he was told “that we should not be alarmed.”
“The security and national interest of Canada is our number one priority, and the president’s tweets are only a distraction,” Baird wrote.
“The threats to Canada are real and the threats to the American people are real,” Baird said, adding that Canada has “zero tolerance for threats to our country.”
Baird’s comments came as the Trudeau government seeks to rebuild its image after Trump fired Canadian Ambassador Mike Rogers and U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley.
Trudeau, who has vowed to do everything possible to keep relations with the U.A.E., said the president has “no intention” of apologizing to Canada.
“I’m not going to apologize for what’s going on in the world,” Trudeau told CBC News on Thursday.
“I’m a leader that talks about the importance of peace, but I’m not a leader who apologizes for what we’ve done.”
In the letter to the PM’s site, Baird’s deputy spokesperson, Chris Ballard, said Baird’s concerns stem from Trump’s failure to secure Canadian visas for Ambassador to the U, Nikki Haley, for visits to the state.
“This is because Mr. Trump has repeatedly shown that he does not take Canadian citizens’ security or national interests into account when making decisions regarding his foreign policy decisions,” Ballard wrote.
Baird did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday evening.
In a statement, Trudeau’s office said that Baird’s letter was “misleading” and that “all Canadians should be reassured that Canada will be able to work closely with the new administration to promote our values of freedom and democracy.”
“We expect our diplomatic staff to be focused on doing their jobs and ensuring that the Canadian Embassy is able to fulfil its responsibilities, including protecting Canadians,” the statement said.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the government and our partners to ensure that the safety and security of Canadians are protected.”
In an interview last month with the CBC’s The National, Baird reiterated his concerns about the incoming Trump administration.
He said Trump has “put an entire new level of uncertainty in the lives of Canadian citizens,” adding that he believes the president “has a very real desire to hurt Canada’s national security.”
“I believe it’s important to remind Canadians that, yes, there are times when we must act, but when we do that, we do it with the support of the entire Canadian government, including our Prime Minister,” Baird told The National.
“And that includes our Foreign Affairs Minister, who is the prime minister of Canada.”
The Canadian ambassador to Washington, Dan Feldman, has since apologized to the Trudeau administration, but was not offered a formal response.
In the same interview, Baird also took aim at Trump’s comments about Canadian diplomats, saying he thinks Trump “hasn’t been a very good friend” of Canada.
Babies born to Canadian diplomats are more likely to be exposed to “a whole new set of pressures,” Baird added. “
But that’s the reality.”
Babies born to Canadian diplomats are more likely to be exposed to “a whole new set of pressures,” Baird added.
“When you have a national security and security-oriented leader like President Trump, it makes it very difficult for people who are not Canadian to work in his administration, especially if they’re Canadian citizens.”