Catherine Holt, chief executive officer of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, hopes Tuesday’s mid-term election will improve trade and travel relations between the Canada and the United States. File photo

U.S. election outcome positive for environment, trade and travel: UVic professor

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO hopes for a different rhetoric around trade

A local historian on the United States, who is familiar with the Pacific Northwest and its issues, says trade and travel between Canada and the U.S. will likely not change very much following Congressional elections in the United States.

Dr. Jason Colby, associate professor of history at the University of Victoria (UVic), said U.S. President Donald Trump will now find himself on the defensive after the Democratic Party won the House of Representatives, with the Senate remaining in control of the Republican Party following midterm elections in the United States Tuesday.

While Trump had been confrontational towards Canada on trade, he may have to change his approach. But Colby also added that Trump has proven himself to be unpredictable.

“He can still throw a wrench into the trade and travel between Canada and the United States,” he said.

RELATED: UVic law students battle travel ban

RELATED: Greater Victoria School District rethinks U.S. travel plans

RELATED: Out with NAFTA, in with USMCA: Canada inks new trade deal

Tuesday’s victory gives House Democrats the power to not only investigate Trump, but also various departments and agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which stands accused of obscuring and obstructing scientific findings and research on a range of issues.

Democrats, including House representatives from Washington State, could now use their power, to push for greater accountability, leading to potential improvements on environmental files that affect both British Columbia and Washington State, including climate change and the eventual fate of southern resident killer whales.

“That’s probably positive,” he said.

However, the Democrats may also choose to pursue other priorities.

Catherine Holt, chief executive officer of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said a good relationship with the United States is of “fundamental importance” to the local economy.

“The outcome of the midterm elections may lead to some reining in of recent damaging rhetoric about Canada,” she said. “The US is a major source of visitors for our tourism economy and the better Americans feel about us the more they will come. We also hope the change in power dynamics will be a positive factor in our trade relationship. The more stable and mutually beneficial our relationship with the U.S., the better it is for us as they are our country’s largest trading partner.”

Tuesday’s outcome in favour of the Democrats was not as overwhelming as anticipated, said Colby, who called the outcome a “standard victory” halfway through the term of an unpopular president.

It certainly did not match previous ‘wave’ elections like those in 1994 and 2010 when Republicans scored major victories, or 2006, when Democrats regained the House during the height of the Iraq War.

“But it’s still really significant,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crime stats show a shift in Oak Bay during COVID-19

Thefts from automobiles, marinas up this spring

Eight people arrested on Pandora Avenue after enforcement order issued

Those living in homeless camps were given until May 20 to move indoors

Victoria society purchases addiction recovery home after year of fundraising

Umbrella Society’s Foundation House is a second stage house for men in active recovery

Victoria dealer sells Batmobile replica at Arizona auction

Tim Quocksister sells Batmobile replica for $165,000 US at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Sidney staff recommends additional outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes

Report before council also leaves open possibility of closing a portion of Beacon Avenue

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Most Read