Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada opposes a plan by the United States to send troops to its northern frontier to catch border jumpers who may be carrying COVID-19.
Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland were responding to a Global News report that said White House officials are discussing such a military deployment to the recently closed border, the world's longest at 8,900 kilometers (5,500 miles).
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, it was temporarily shut as of Saturday to all non-essential travelers on both sides, but not cross-border trade.
"Canada and the United States have the longest unmilitarized border in the world. And it is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way," Trudeau told a daily briefing.
He said his administration has highlighted to the US that the flow of people and trade "has benefited our two countries and our economies tremendously. And we feel that it needs to remain that way."
Freeland went further, warning: "In Canada's view this is an entirely unnecessary step which we would view as damaging to our (bilateral) relationship."
She noted at a news conference that Washington had yet to make a decision, but added, "We do not believe at all that there would be a public health justification for (the US) to take this action.
"We've said we don't think this is the right way to treat a trusted friend and a military ally."