Trump and Trudeau discuss border co-operation

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US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Image caption,
US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke on Thursday

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump discussed US-Canada border co-operation in a telephone call on Thursday.

Asylum seekers have been crossing into Canada in recent weeks, putting a strain on border communities in the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec.

The two leaders also discussed a long-running dispute over lumber exports and the upcoming G7 and G20 summits.

The conversation was a follow-up to Mr Trudeau's recent trip to Washington.

The Trudeau government has faced calls in recent weeks to do more to address the issue of refugee claimants crossing illegally into Canada.

Canadian officials say they are currently monitoring people crossing the border but are not worried at this stage, given the number of asylum seekers is relatively small.

On Thursday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said the province was taking emergency measures to help deal with the influx of refugee claimants in the province, including additional funds for emergency housing and refugee settlement groups.

Manitoba is also increasing the number of primary care paramedics in the border community of Emerson on a temporary basis. Town services have been strained with the number of asylum seekers crossing the international boundary in the dead of winter.

The premier also urged the federal government to do more to develop a national response to the issue that is affecting communities across the country.

The Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have increased resources at the border.

The number of refugee claimants coming illegally Canada has been increasing since 2014 but has jumped recently amid worries about the Trump administration's plans for cracking down on immigration in the United States.

The call between the prime minister and the president also took place as senior US officials visited their Mexican counterparts to discuss new US immigration guidelines.