John Ibbitson suggests there will be mostly pluses but a few minuses for Canada as a result of the U.S. election. He notes a majority of Canadians—72%–welcomed Joe Biden’s victory, but cautions that Democrat administrations have tended to be more protectionist, citing, for example, Mr. Biden’s “Buy American” election slogan.
This lesson is designed for secondary level students, to be applicable to both online and classroom learning situations. Whether in one-on-one settings, in small groups or cohorts, or via a learning partner online, this lesson involves online research and the completion of a writing exercise.
Subject Area(s) covered
Social studies, American studies, current events
New Terms to explain
Isolationism, antidote, extradition, resilience, protectionist
Access to the article
Key things students can learn from this lesson
- Which form of U.S. government and leaders most Canadians prefer;
- Several ways in which the incoming Biden Administration could be good for Canada;
- Several ways in which the incoming Biden Administration could be challenging for Canada.
Action (here’s how we’ll do it)
As you read the article by Mr. Ibbitson, complete the following exercise:
Under each of the following headings, list examples from the article that show what could change in relations between Canada and the U.S. and whether the change would be favourable or unfavourable for Canada:
The personal relationships between U.S. (Biden/Harris) and Canadian leaders (Trudeau)
The official relationship between the U.S. and Canadian governments
Canada’s and the U.S. role on the world stage
What is your opinion? Which of these issues, if any, do you feel is the most important and why?
Finally, note that John Ibbitson is writing as a columnist, offering his opinion. How is this different from writing as a reporter?
Consolidation of Learning
- When they’ve finished their assignment, students will discuss it with their teacher before submitting it for evaluation.
- Present an informed opinion about the possible ways Canada’s relationship with the U.S . will change or not under the incoming Biden administration.
- List several ways in which the incoming Biden Administration could be good for Canada;
- List several ways in which the incoming Biden Administration could be problematic for Canada.
- In the coming weeks and months, students note news items that relate to Canada-U.S. relations.
Helpful Internet Searches
- CBC U.S. Election: https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/elections/us/2020/results/
Activities to do together
- If possible, raise the subject of the U.S. election at home during meals to see how those closest to you feel about the results.
- Connect with any American friends or relatives you may have, to see how they feel about relations between Canada and the U.S. in the coming months and years.