U.S.-Canadian Relations on the Rocks

Will Ottawa Go Its Own Way?

Leah Millis / Reuters

On April 2, 1965, Prime Minister Lester Pearson of Canada traveled to Philadelphia, where he gave an address urging U.S. President Lyndon Johnson to consider a limited halt in the bombing of North Vietnam. Although Pearson’s appeal was respectful and restrained, the president felt betrayed, and he let it be known when the two met at Camp David the next day. After a frosty lunch, Johnson led Pearson by the arm to a stone terrace and, for the next hour, lit into him for coming to his “backyard” and attacking him on Vietnam. Charles Ritchie, Canada’s ambassador to the United …