U.S. President George W. Bush intends to travel to Ottawa May 5, where he'll
speak to a joint session of Parliament. It is thought that this visit could be
the begining of the end too the Softwood issue. Also Defense is sure to be a
After moving into the White House just over two years ago, Bush's first
foreign trip was to Mexico instead of Canada a departure from recent
convention that raised questions about the relationship between Washington and
After the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States, Bush didn't include Canada in the list of countries he thanked for their support an omission that government officials later suggested showed just how close the two neighbours are.
Criticism of the U.S. has grown in some circles in Canada in recent years, with complaints about everything from trade disputes to new anti-terrorism security that critics say targets some visible minorities when they travel south. There is also unease over the White House's environmental policies and its threat of possible unilateral military action against Iraq.
In November, Chrétien's communications director resigned after calling Bush a "moron" in front of some journalists.
Bush has been to Canada twice as president. Last June, he attended the G-8 Summit in Alberta, and in 2000 he was at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec.
But this year's trip to Ottawa will be his first official "state visit" a more formal event that follows stricter protocol. The last state visit to Ottawa by a U.S. president was by Bill Clinton in 1995.