Victoria resident Giles Hogya and his wife are celebrating Joe Biden becoming the 46th president of the United States of America.
“Joyful, wonderful, I couldn’t be happier!” Hogya said, laughing.
Hogya holds dual citizenship and is chair of the Victoria chapter of Democrats Abroad.
“I was a bit nervous. My wife emotionally was falling apart,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I was calm, but I knew we were going to win.”
In Victoria, Democrats Abroad doubled their membership due to the election and made thousands of calls.
On Saturday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice president-elect Kamala Harris, noting the unique relationship the two countries share.
Congratulations, @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 7, 2020
“Our relationship with the U.S. is that of an elephant to a mouse, and as [Pierre] Trudeau said, every twitch and grunt of the elephant was felt in Canada,” said David Black, who teaches political communications at Royal Roads University.
These last four years under the Donald Trump administration, he added, have seen the elephant on a rampage. With the election of Biden/Harris, however, it will return to a level of calm and normalcy.
“But it remains that the U.S. is a superpower,” Black noted. “And it is an elephant, no matter who is in charge.”
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Kamala Harris will be the first Black, South Asian woman to be elected vice president in U.S. history.
“When I grew up, it was very difficult to get your foot into areas where other women were, Caucasian women primarily,” said Mahinder Kaur Doman Manhas, an Indian author and editor who has lived in Canada her whole life.
But when Manhas, who lives in Victoria, heard the news of Harris’ election, all she could say was “Yes!”
“Ms. Harris has broken through a ceiling for all of us and for women all around the world,” she said.
This kind of representation matters, according to Janni Aragon, a gender and politics professor at the University of Victoria.
“We’ll have little girls all across the globe see Kamala, look in the mirror and think, look at what she’s done, maybe I can do this,” said Aragon. “Or maybe I can do something else that these little girls might have thought was previously unattainable for them.”