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OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he will stand up for openness and diversity, but stopped short Monday of directly criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
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“We are a strong, united people, who are generous and open because we have seen how much openness to the world and diversity not only makes us more prosperous, but more safe as a country and as communities,” Trudeau said during Question Period.
On Friday, Trump temporarily banned citizens of seven nations — Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya — from entering the United States for 90 days. The president’s executive order permanently bans Syrian refugees and puts a temporary halt on accepting refugees from any other nation.
Canada was given no prior warning from our largest security and trading partner. Only on Saturday afternoon could federal officials confirm that Canadian dual nationals and permanent residents will not be banned from the U.S.
Joseph Pickerill, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, would not say if Canadian officials had written assurances. But Pickerill did say that Canadian officials are “actively seeking clarity on impacts and have updated our travel advice as a result.”
The ban was also the subject of some confusion in the U.K., another crucial security partner to both the U.S. and Canada. Boris Johnson, the British foreign affairs minister, said Sunday that Trump’s ban did not affect British dual citizens. But the U.S. Embassy in London said Monday that dual nationals would not be granted visas “until further notification.”
When contacted by the Star, U.S. Customs and Border Protection referred all calls to the Department of Homeland Security, which was not answering the phone or accepting phone messages on Monday. An email to the department was not answered.
With files from Daniel Dale.