Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday praised the “historic milestone” reached in the U.S. election, which saw Kamala Harris elected to the nation’s second-highest office.
During a news conference in Ottawa, Trudeau congratulated Harris and U.S. president-elect Joe Biden and said he looks forward to working with them to address common challenges and opportunities. He said the Harris win sends an important message.
“For so many people in Canada and around the world, seeing a woman — and a Black and South Asian-American woman — elected as the next vice-president of the United States is an inspiration and a reminder that everyone’s voice belongs in politics,” he said.
Biden defeated Donald Trump to become the 46th U.S. president after securing enough electoral college votes on Saturday.
His win was declared by U.S. networks after days of uncertainty as election officials counted a record-high number of mail-in ballots. Biden surpassed the necessary 270 electoral college votes with a win in his home state of Pennsylvania, though Trump is contesting some states’ results.
WATCH / Kamala Harris delivers first speech after being declared U.S. VP-elect:
Trudeau has faith in U.S. electoral system
Asked if he may have congratulated Biden too soon, Trudeau said Canada can be “quite certain” of the results because of the trusted electoral officials and institutions that evaluate and analyze the vote.
“We have confidence in the processes that have operated in the United States,” he said.
Trudeau said he will continue to work with the current Trump administration until Jan. 20, when Biden will be sworn in to office.
Asked about Trump’s refusal to concede defeat, Trudeau said his focus is on defending Canadian interests.
WATCH / Women react to Harris’s historic win: