Eastern Ontario border towns watching U.S. election results closely

Gananoque

Many people along the eastern Ontario border have always felt a close connection with those in the United States, and many say they’ll be keeping a close eye on Tuesday's election outcome, whenever that may come. 

Some, like Jeannie Catchpole are even dual citizens. She voted in this election and has family currently living in the U.S.

She says that over the last four years she’s watched each political side drift further and further apart.

“The divisiveness is stressful, very stressful,” she explains, “and now we watch as places are being boarded up and, depending on what happens by the end of the day, hopefully that kind of burns itself out and things get nicer.”

She’s not alone. A poll released by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found a clear majority of Canadians surveyed worry that the United States will suffer a breakdown of its system marked by "social chaos" if no clear winner emerges.

Gananoque resident Gwen Jackson shares that fear.

“Whoever wins there could be a really bad disruption, like a civil war type thing,” she tells CTV News Ottawa. “Hopefully it won’t.”

Gananoque Coun. Dennis O’Connor says that he expects many to be watching the election closely.

“We have so many people who have friends across the border, and family, and that’s what happens in border towns, so there is a great concern for people that we care about,” he explains.

In Cornwall, people are expected to be quietly watching the election, says Mayor Bernadette Clement.

Clement says she does hope that the U.S. gets the coronavirus under control, so that her city can get back to business with its southern neighbour, regardless of who wins.

“We want the border to reopen so we can visit and do business as we’ve always done,” she says. “So, we’d like to see a government that could move in that direction, whatever government that is.”

While some say they are watching closely, those like Chris and Mary-Anne Merkley say they’re staying out of it, regardless of the outcome.

“We try not to, just with everything going on,” Chris says. “It doesn’t affect our family.”