Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly says Ottawa is working on a government response to the potential rise of an authoritarian leader in the US following the 2024 election, noting that officials are preparing to face a “difficult situation.”
Speaking to a Montreal broadcaster for an interview on Wednesday, Joly said officials are developing several “scenarios” for the result of next year’s race in the US, though revealed few details about the planning.
“In general, there is our game plan, precisely to be able to manage what could be a rather difficult situation,” she said. “I will work with my colleagues and with the mayors, the provincial premiers, with the business community, with the unions, with everyone in the country, so that we are ready regardless of the election outcome.”
Campaigning for the 2024 presidential contest has already become contentious, with multiple polls showing former President Donald Trump as a frontrunner for the Republican nomination, despite a string of ongoing criminal lawsuits.
Filed earlier this week, the most recent indictment accused the ex-president of violating Georgia’s racketeering laws, among other offenses, in relation to alleged efforts to invalidate Joe Biden’s 2020 election win. Trump also faces litigation in New York over a purported hush-money scheme with porn actress Stormy Daniels, as well as separate federal cases for the alleged mishandling of classified material and election interference.
While Trump has denied all wrongdoing in each case, the prospect of prison time for a former commander-in-chief and current presidential hopeful has triggered fears of political unrest for some officials.
Ahead of Trump’s first court appearance for his classified documents case, law enforcement in Florida stepped up security precautions in the event of violent protests. Though they never materialized, demonstrators have continued to attend Trump’s hearings, with supporters and critics facing off at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC earlier this month.