Canadian federal police officer on guard at Roxham Road at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, Canada [Andre Pichette/EPA-EFE]

Canada on Thursday attacked a proposal by the United States to deploy troops along the undefended joint border to help fight the spread of coronavirus, saying the idea was unnecessary and would damage relations.

The uncompromising comments came as a surprise, since Ottawa has enjoyed smooth relations with the administration of US President Donald Trump over the past 18 months. Last week the two nations agreed to close the border to non-essential travel to ease the strain on health systems from the outbreak.

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Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, however, made clear the Liberal Party government had no time for a plan to send hundreds of troops

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