On the desk were a book with a green cover for the House of Commons and one with a red cover for the Senate.
Signing the Senate book with his left hand, Mr. Obama joked about being left-handed.
“It always looks a little funny on TV,” he said.
“Thank you so much. It was a great honor,” Mr. Obama said. Mr. Obama will have a working lunch with Mr. Harper, his deputies and lawmakers.
On the lunch menu is Pacific Coast tuna with a Chili and Citrus Vinaigrette, Maple and Miso Cured Nunavut Arctic Char, Lightly Pickled Vegetables and an Organic Beet Relish, Applewood Smoked Plains Bison, Winter Root Veg and Local Mushrooms. cauliflower and rosemary puree, juniper and niagara red wine jus. Dessert: Saugeen Yogurt Pot de Creme with a Lemon and Lavender Syrup, Wild Blueberry and Partridgeberry Compote, Acadian Buckwheat Honey and Sumac Tuile.
Mr. Harper told CNN Wednesday he is encouraged by Mr. Obama’s environmental outlook.
“We’re involved in funding technological development, looking at things like carbon capture and storage as a way of minimizing or cutting down on some of those emissions,” he said. “I think that’s going to be very important for the world going forward. You know, in Canada, we’ve been wrestling for the last decade or so with our desire to try and have a regime — a regulatory regime that would diminish our own carbon emissions. But we’ve been trying to do so in an integrated economy when the United States has not been willing to do so. I think quite frankly the fact that we have a president, administration that wants to see some kind of regulation on this is an encouragement.”
Crowds of revelers gathered to witness Mr. Obama’s first foreign trip were somewhat reduced due to snowfall, but hundreds were standing outside the House of Commons hours before the president’s arrival.
People stood on massive snowballs and held signs with political messages, including, “Stop cigarette smuggling from the United States to Canada,” “Climate emergency” and “Obama I love you — u are my brother, friend, victory.”
Mr. Obama emerged from his car on the opposite side of the several thousand gathered at the bottom of the hill. After a handshake, Mr. Obama asked Mr. Harper if he could go to the other side of the car to greet the crowd. Mr. Obama grinned and waved.
Before heading back to the states the president will meet the opposition leader Michael Ignatieff of Canada’s Liberal Party and address U.S. Embassy employees.
Mr. Obama on Tuesday told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation he believes there is a possibility for “trilateral cooperation,” noting his January meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon before the inauguration about his progressive vision for climate change efforts.
Denis McDonough, deputy director of the National Security Council, said the idea is to “hit the ground running with a very important neighbor and ally.”
One issue that may prove thorny is Canada’s tar sands oil supply.
ForestEthics and other environmental groups took out a full-page USA Today advertisement to showcase what they called Canada’s “flawed climate policy” allowing for the expansion of tar sands that some groups view as both dirty and dangerous. The ad said the sands and generate more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil.